Photo of Jeff Gigante, Next Level Brands, Partner, Co-founder

Jeff Gigante, Next Level Brands, Partner, Co-founder

January 30, 2023

Jeff Gigante, a St Petersburg Fla. native, has been successfully developing a diverse collection of restaurant concepts, for 25 years, steadfastly earning a reputation for hospitality, community involvement, and philanthropy.

​Gigante started his path to a culinary career at a young age. Inspired by memories of the shared family table, he began working in all areas of hospitality, including, service, management, and operations.

During his senior year at Florida State University, where he received a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts in Film, Gigante, made his foray into the restaurant world, opening Gigamo Bros pizzeria. A few short years later, while pursuing acting and hospitality in NYC, Gigante worked with and befriended the Lanza family, successful entrepreneurs with a passion for restaurants.

Rising from food runner to trusted manager, Gigante convinced James Lanza to come to Tampa Bay, a city he saw as bright with potential for food and beverage and entertainment concepts. Lanza was hooked and together the two would co found along with chef Luis Flores, Ciccio Restaurant Group, establishing multiple popular brands over the better part of two decades.

​In 2019, Gigante, with an eye towards his own vision, opened Forbici Modern Italian, in Tampa's Hyde Park Village, known for Roman style pizza and pastas, in a lively, convivial atmosphere.

​The formation of Next Level Brands is a natural evolution and the culmination of Gigante's life's work. Bringing together a talented and dedicated team built on valued relationships and an unwavering commitment to next level hospitality.

​Gigante's true inspiration comes from his wife and best friend of 16 years, Erica and their children, Ciro and Isabel. The Gigante's enjoy travelling, water sports, family bike rides, and of course shared meals where Gigante's favorite saying has become a family motto: "Every friend was once a stranger."