The Last Page is dedicated to individuals who are making a positive impact on the LGBTQ community in Central Florida and Tampa Bay.
This issue, we check in with Steve Brown, CEO of accesso Technology Group and co-owner of The Glass Knife in Winter Park. Keep an eye on this space to learn more about the movers and shakers of your community.
Hometown: Lakeland, Florida
Identifies As: Cisgender gay male
Out Year: 2000
Profession: Entrepreneur, Tech CEO
Professional role model: Steve Jobs
Autobiography Title: “Life Is More Than One Chapter”
Hobbies: Travel, reading and, of course, baking!
What do you do professionally?
I am the CEO of accesso Technology Group where we provide ticketing, point of sale and guest experience solutions to theme parks, ski resorts, cultural attractions and the cruise industry. My partner Lance and I also own The Glass Knife, a pastry shop/café in Winter Park.
What is your favorite thing to read in Watermark?
The Community Calendar. It’s the “go-to” source for what’s happening. I always find something new and interesting.
What is your favorite local LGBTQ event?
Come Out With Pride; I am amazed by how that team continues to raise the bar in producing a series of events that foster our city’s sense of community and inclusiveness.
What is your favorite thing about the local LGBTQ+ community?
In general, our shared experiences give us courage and empathy, but there is just something uniquely authentic about our community here in Orlando. It’s incredibly tight-knit. I don’t know that you find that same closeness elsewhere.
What would you like to see improved in the local LGBTQ+ community?
That we continue to advocate for representation that genuinely reflects the complexity of our community. I also feel that we can be our loudest when we listen and speak with our actions, not just our words.
What would you like our readers to know about you?
My first professional job after college was as a news reporter at the ABC affiliate in Panama City, Florida. While that was short-lived, I am a big news junkie (and already miss Jorge Estevez!). Oh, and I am still upset that Hillary is not president.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Don’t be afraid to take a chance on trying something for which you have a passion.Focusing on the things you really care about is one of the best routes to a happy life. And, travel as much as you can. Experiencing other places is so eye-opening and inspiring. I wish I had done more of that in my younger years.
Why did you want to open a cafe and bakery in Winter Park?
This idea has been brewing in my mind for probably twenty years, if not more. I have been inspired by, and long dreamt of, a way to share the memories of baking alongside my mother, Jacque. She was a hobbyist baker whose talents transformed her culinary passion into a creative profession. I guess you could say that, along with my own food passions, is just a part of my DNA.
As a long-time Orlando resident, I could feel the desire for a locally-owned and operated community gathering place. Something sophisticated, yet comfortable; a spot that encourages togetherness and celebration. A place where the offerings are made in-house, from scratch, each and every day. The ultimate goal is world-class food and exceptional service.
What are your most popular items at The Glass Knife?
Anything with chocolate!
What is your personal favorite at The Glass Knife?
What time of day? The morning is a crème brûlée cortado and a Cheddar Biscuit sandwich. Lunch is the Roasted Turkey Club. But for that ‘any time of day’ treat, my go-to is our Oatmeal Cream Pie; It’s the ultimate combination of nostalgia and homemade goodness.
Have someone in mind you think would make a great profile for our Last Page? Recommend People to Central Florida Bureau Chief Jeremy Williams at Jeremy@WatermarkOnline.com and Tampa Bay Bureau Chief Ryan Williams-Jent at Ryan@WatermarkOnline.com.