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The Wright’s Experience

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Wright’s Gourmet House first opened its doors on April 20, 1963, the vision of Marjorie and Pete Wright who saw the need for a gourmet shop in Tampa. They had lots of ambition and sought to be the best by offering the best. The original restaurant was located in a tiny storefront with second-hand equipment, and offered imported and domestic delicacies, fresh coffees and teas, exotic spices, unusual cheeses, fresh-roasted meats and big wheel sandwiches.

They worked hard to build business and believed that sampling their fare was a great way to introduce new flavors to Tampa and create excitement. “Sampling sells,” Marjorie would say. And she would have sold the broom in her hand if it would have made the cash register ring.

The couple believed that if customers asked for something, that Wright’s would be the first and best at offering it. So when Marjorie Wright made a Chicken Tetrazzini for her own dinner one evening and sat it on the counter to cool, a customer was so captivated by the casserole’s aroma that she asked to buy it. Marjorie of course said, “Yes!” That’s how Wright’s began offering frozen entrees, making it somewhat of a pioneer back in the 1960s!

World-Famous Gourmet Sandwiches

Their commitment to quality helped Wright’s create some of the best unique and specialty sandwiches in town. They even had a German baker develop special dough for them and bake it in a big, round pan calling it Bucket Bread, which is used on almost all Wright’s sandwiches to this day. And while Bucket Bread sandwiches have often been imitated, they’ve never been duplicated. Today, Wright’s is widely recognized for its mouthwatering sandwiches, selling hundreds every day.

It’s also famous for its decadent cakes and desserts, which weren’t part of the menu back in 1963. A regular customer once offered Marjorie her “secret” rum cake recipe because she wanted Wright’s to succeed, saying, “From now on, if anyone wants my rum cake, they’ll need to come buy it from you.” Hundreds of thousands of rum cakes have been sold since then (they’re considered sacred) and they’ve been joined by a variety of scrumptious cakes, pies and other treats.

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How Sweet It Is

The Tampa community enthusiastically spread the word about the Wright’s experience, brought their friends and kept coming back for their favorites, from the Golden Gate and Beef Martini sandwiches to our special mustard sauce, cakes and pies in the decades since.

In 1981, Jeff Mount purchased Wright’s from his grandparents and has been carrying on their legacy for over 40 years. At the time, Wright’s offered only take-out and had a staff of just eight. Today, Wright’s has a staff of 60, and has grown its South Tampa landmark location to seat 225. It’s the fourth version of Wright’s since its inception in 1963.

Now, we can say “yes” to much more than before, with private event space for banquets, business meetings and parties, in addition to our thriving catering and delivery business.

It’s no surprise that the secret to Wright’s special sauce is our enduring commitment to quality and the customer experience. Nearly every item on the menu today was created because our customers asked for it. Whether it’s your first visit or your thousandth, we look forward to giving you an experience to remember!



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