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Because it’s strange and beautiful and hot, people from everywhere converge on Florida and they bring their cuisine and their traditions with them. The Zest celebrates the intersection of food and communities in the Sunshine State.

Former Buc turned entrepreneur Ian Beckles on kava, cutting carbs and cooking for himself

His latest venture is Dignitary Kava House, an alcohol-free hangout spot in South Tampa.

Listen to the episode

In his 56 years, Ian Beckles has worn a lot of hats—and eaten a lot of good meals. In his profile on X, formerly Twitter, Ian describes himself as a “Former NFL Player & Entrepreneur Ambassador of all things Tasty in TB.” And that’s a pretty good way to sum it up.

The former Tampa Bay Buccaneer has his hand in a little bit of everything, including radio, podcasting, deejaying, magazine publishing and running his lifestyle brand, Dignitary, which he established in 2015. Ian’s latest venture is Dignitary Kava House. It’s an alcohol-free hangout spot in South Tampa that offers coffee, tea, CBD, kava, kratom and more.

The Zest team recently visited Ian at Dignitary Kava House to learn what exactly kava is and why he’s passionate about it. We also did a deep dive into how Ian’s eating habits have changed over the years.

"I host a food podcast" is a great icebreaker at parties.