As we recognize Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, the theme is advancing leaders through opportunity.

What You Need To Know

  • May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

  • Running restaurants runs in Ferdian Jap's family.

  • He wants to share the different cultures and flavors of Asia with the community

A Bay area entrepreneur is taking leadership to a whole new level.

Ferdian Jap runs two restaurants at Armature Works, Zukku Sushi and Astro Craft Ice Cream. He also has other restaurants in Lakeland and Wesley Chapel.

Running restaurants runs in Ferdian's family.

"I grew up in a Chinese restaurant with my parents, so I’m one of those kids that did homework and spent all day after school in the Chinese restaurant,” said Ferdian.

Originally from Indonesia, Ferdian wants to share the different cultures and flavors of Asia with the community.

"We have a Korean BBQ concept that we’re working on," said Ferdian. "I think it’s going to be one of the first higher-end Korean BBQ's where the atmosphere and setting and the experience is going to be totally different than what Tampa has seen.”

The 38-year-old has seen Tampa grow. He even participated in projects to help revamp downtown.

"I was the project manager for Friends of the Riverwalk 15 years ago now, I did the fundraising,” said Ferdian.

Ferdian says that involvement inspired him to launch "Big City Events," to help keep people in the area.

"Making people come back to downtown on the weekend or staying after they got off work was really important to us,” said Ferdian.

The entrepreneur manages "Big City Events," concentrating on festivals and concerts in Tampa. "Pier Events," a subsidiary, aims to do the same for St. Petersburg.

"We’re the event manager for the St. Pete Pier," explained Ferdian.

This manager attended the University of South Florida and initially pursued a degree in pre-med. He would leave USF with a Masters Degree in Entrepreneurship and later added a MBA from the University of Tampa, then a law degree from Stetson.

"It’s been a very helpful degree in everything, from restaurant deals, to leases to events and risk and liabilities,” said Ferdian.

Those restaurant deals aren't slowing down, he's looking forward to introducing his new concepts and expanding both locally and nationally.