2022 marked 41 years of experience in Manatee County’s hospitality industry for John Horne, who began his career working summers at Fast Eddie’s Place while completing his Business degree at Clemson University.
In 1995, John opened his first restaurant, Anna Maria Oyster Bar, on the City Pier in Anna Maria, Florida. Four more restaurants followed and today the restaurants, affectionately known by locals as the AMOBs, are a well-known place to enjoy fresh, delicious seafood at a great value, served by a team of wonderful staff in a fun, family-friendly atmosphere. 2022 brought the latest evolution of the Horne’s hospitality group with the purchase of Sarasota’s iconic Cafe L’Europe, which celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2023.
There is life outside the restaurant as well! John & Amanda enjoy traveling anywhere, but usually, there’s a cooking class with wine along the way.
Pictured: John accepting his position as Board Chair of the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association!
In 2017, John and Amanda piloted the Dive Into Reading summer reading program at the Ellenton AMOB, in partnership with the Manatee County School District and the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading to help improve our children’s reading levels and combat the “summer slide.” This program has won national and state-wide awards for its success and ability to replicate in other communities.
Dive Into Reading has expanded to include five area locations serving Title I elementary schools in Manatee County and more than 370 rising 1st, 2nd and 3rd graders, along with 354 volunteer mentors. In 2019 the Sarasota School District piloted the program and 2020 saw Dive Into Reading expand into DeSoto County.
They hosted an annual golf tournament for 11 years raising over $600,000…open their home frequently to fundraisers for PACE Center for Girls, Women’s Resource Center, and Cancer Support Center among others. John & Amanda firmly believe in collaboration with others and in 2013 joined forces with another local couple (Stewart & Trudy Moon) to host a new fundraiser, The Horne & Moon Scholarship Social. In only five years, this event raised more than $500,000 to help adult students return to school at Manatee Technical College, State College of Florida and University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee.
John has been interviewed nationally on topics such as hospitality industry advocacy, labor and workforce development.
Business Observer, December 2022:
Restaurant company, behind 5-star fun motto, nearly doubles locations in less than a year
Sun News Media, October 2022:
Dishing out food before they open
CNN Business, April 2021: ‘A perfect storm’:
These restaurants survived the pandemic. Now they can’t find workers
Fox News, April 2021:
Some businesses struggling to find new employees amid reopening
Answers That Count Podcast, April 2021:
What $15 Min Wage Hikes Mean to Restaurants
Bradenton Herald, April 2021:
Bradenton area businesses struggle with staffing challenges as nation gets back to work
Yahoo Finance, January 2021:
Minimum wage increase in US states adds pressure to federal push — and small businesses