The Anna Maria Island Sun Newspaper

Vol. 12 No. 10 - December 21, 2011


New generation shakes it up at Duffy's

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

Pat Geyer's campaign manager, Bill
Warren, celebrates a victory with her.
Pat was a mayor and commissioner.

HOLMES BEACH – A couple of years ago, if you went into Duffy's Tavern in Holmes Beach and ordered anything but a burger, a dog or some bean soup or chili, you would have been greeted with the famous raised eyebrow.

But in the last two years, things have changed, and Duffy's, which celebrated 40 years of operation by the Geyer family this year, is moving into a new era under the guidance of the daughters of the late Pat and Ed Geyer – Peggi Davenport and Polli Stroup, and Peggi's husband, Bruce Davenport.

"Mom took over the business in July 1, 1971," Peggi said, and as Pat had recalled in a 2002 interview, she and Ed "wanted to give their daughters, Peggi, Polli, Penni, Pam and Patti something to do to keep them out of trouble."

They operated the restaurant in a rustic building across from the Manatee County Public Beach for 31 years until the owners decided to take back the property. Undeterred, they found a location at 5808 Marina Drive in Holmes Beach and opened their new Duffy's Tavern there on March 5, 2003.

"Everything was the same, but in a new building," Polli said.

"We were trying to continue to put out good burgers and keep it the same," Peggi added.

But it was a couple of years ago that things got more interesting.

"Bruce got laid off at Tropicana and started helping out here," Peggi explained. "We had offered some specials, but Bruce took it to a new level.

"He always liked cooking at home and watching Food Network, so he started introducing a lot of new specials. It's been a really good thing for Duffy's."

"I started doing the pulled pork two years ago to have something different on the weekends, and it snowballed into this," Bruce added.

Bruce's specialties include pulled pork, beef brisket and pastrami sandwiches, a variety of burger options and his famous soups such as smoked portabella mushroom soup and stone crab bisque. He has also added sides such as cole slaw and potato salad.

Two of his burger options – the crumbled blue cheese burger and the fresh jalapeno and havarti burger have been added to the regular menu, and the mushroom Swiss and Tex burgers will be next for permanent status.

"I got my culinary degree from the Food Network," Bruce said with a laugh. "I go online, find recipes, tweak them and put my signature on them.

"I like to keep things simple so you know what you're eating. The pork is the most popular, but the pastrami is coming on strong. Everything is homemade."

Polli said people now call to find out what the specials will be that day, and Peggi noted, "People are loving the specials. They like having something different, but there are still some who can't get past their traditional burger fix."

The one menu item you won't find at Duffy's is French fries, but Bruce admitted, "I'm trying to get them so we can turn the corner and get wings."


Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

The Walt Disney Company has confidence

Investment Corner

The Walt Disney Company, typically know as Disney, is perhaps one of the most economically sensitive corporations. Almost 100% of their revenue comes from the discretionary spending money of families. No one "needs" to travel to Orlando or Anaheim, pay the $60 - $70 per person admission, then spend additional money on food, beverages and souvenirs, and pay for a hotel room for a couple days. I think we'd all agree this is "want" based spending as opposed to "needs" based spending, and would be the first spending cut if things got tight.

At the end of November, Disney announced they were increasing their dividend payment to shareholders. There was nothing unusual about this announcement as many firms have a long history of increasing dividend payments periodically. In fact, Disney raised its dividend in 2010 by 14 percent. What was attention getting in the recent announcement was the size of the increase – a full 50 percent boost from 40 cents to 60 cents per share on an annual basis.

Now, I'm not highlighting Disney here as a recommendation. In fact, we don't own Disney stock in our clients' portfolios and don't plan on buying it. What is interesting and worth considering here is the fact that a very economically sensitive entertainment company would take such a bold step when the economy is certainly not as robust as any of us would like.

Most companies don't want to ever have to reduce their dividend payment, so they take the decision to raise the payment seriously after considering their view of the future growth of the business. Disney is not alone as scores of other firms ranging from McDonald's to Microsoft have boosted dividend payments significantly in the last year.

It seems a bit hard to fathom that corporate leaders are optimistic if we just consider the negative feelings created by the situation in Europe, our own fiscal issues, and the heating up of the political rhetoric with the presidential election just under 11 months away. But the facts seem to differ from perception and corporate America is going about its business, generating record profits, and sharing those profits with shareholders through an increasing income stream of dividend payments.

Of course, stocks are stocks and the prices of these assets may be volatile. Investors should own equities in their portfolio in a proportion which does not cause too much heartburn when we go through inevitable market corrections. The main message of this article is that perhaps the future isn't quite as bleak as some may have us believe and many corporations are sending that message through their actions of increasing dividends.

Tom Breiter is president of Breiter Capital Management, Inc., an Anna Maria based investment advisor. He can be reached at 778-1900. Some of the investment concepts highlighted in this column may carry the risk of loss of principal, and investors should determine appropriateness for their personal situation before investing. Visit


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