Here at Interbay Market our goal is to serve families, and those who serve, in our community. Family owned and operated since 1985, “the Green Store” (as the locals would call it) provides premium cuts of meat, and a seemingly endless selection of great food to the people of South Tampa.
The original Interbay Market was a 2,000 sqft building, built in 1942. Owners Hani and Maria Shoubaki bought the establishment in 1985 and were the only two employees, working grueling hours seven days a week. In 1998, the old store was demolished and the current 10,000-square-foot building was built in its place. With the business growing, the Shoubakis have since enlisted more help from the family: Elisa Lopez (Maria’s mother), and Samuel and Hussien Shoubaki (Hani and Maria’s two eldest sons). Even Shoubaki’s youngest son, Omar, helps out while on break from attending Florida State University.
The Green Store frequently caters events and meetings for MacDill Air Force Base. Multiple framed certificates of appreciation from divisions such as the U.S. Special Operations Command and U.S. Central Command hang on the wall near the checkout counter. “Having my son, Hussien, serve in the U.S. Army; and my daughter, Halina, active in the U.S. Air Force, I have a whole new appreciation for the servicemen and women in our country. It is an honor to be able to serve them in return.”
The store’s Cuban sandwich has been ranked as one of the best in the Bay, and you will find a lot more traditional Cuban and American food to go along with it. In addition, some of the best cuts of meat in the area are sold here. Plenty of locals do most of their grocery shopping here as well, given the impressive selection available. When Hurricane Charley rumbled through in 2004, Shoubaki heeded warnings from local authorities and closed his store. Worried, however, that his neighborhood customers would not be able to get the supplies they needed, he reopened. A thank-you note from a grateful customer also hangs on the store’s wall. After 33 years in business the market still takes up most of Shoubaki’s time, but he doesn’t mind. “I am extremely happy, exactly where I want to be. I have a loving family and a prosperous business…I couldn’t be any happier,” he says. The Shoubaki’s story of Interbay Market is a classic example that the American dream is alive and well.