Meet John Horne
Our CEO (Chief Executive Oyster)!
With more than 40 years of experience in Manatee County’s hospitality industry, John Horne first 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. 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 next evolution of the Horne’s hospitality group with the purchase of Sarasota’s iconic restaurant Cafe L’Europe, which celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2023. Combining the two concepts led to the creation of Oysters Rock Hospitality overseeing all operations.
In 2023, the AMOB at UTC opened and spring 2024 will bring the AMOB in North Port, Florida to life, as well. In 2025 Oysters Rock Hospitality will franchise its first location, an Anna Maria Oyster Bar in the new terminal at the Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport.
John Horne and his 425+ co-workers at Oysters Rock Hospitality have garnered many accolades over the years, including:
- 2020 U.S. Senate Small Business of the Week
- 2018 National Restaurant Association Education Foundation Restaurant Neighbor Award
- 2019 Leadership Florida Impact Award for Dive Into Reading
- 2020 Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association Seal of Commitment (1st Restaurant in FL)
- 2020 Florida Department of Education Commissioners Business Award
- 2021 Manatee Chamber of Commerce Robert P. Bartz Award for Outstanding Leadership
- Small Business of the Year Award from the Manatee, Sarasota, and Longboat Key Chambers of Commerce
- 2023 SRQ Magazine Good Hero Award for Corporate Philanthropy
- Longboat Key Chamber Ed and Marge Moran Memorial Award for Community Service
- Manatee Community Foundation Spirit of Manatee Volunteer of the Year
- Manatee Community Foundation Corporate Spirit Award
- USF 2014-2015 Hospitality Leadership Award
- Bradenton Area Convention & Visitors Bureau – Champion of Tourism Award
- Bradenton Area Convention & Visitors Bureau – Tourism Ambassador Award
- Anna Maria Island Rotary Club’s Small Businessperson of the Year Award
- Bradenton Kiwanis Bert South Award
- Tripadvisor Travelers’ Choice Best of the Best: Top 10% of Restaurants
- Tampa Bay Business Journal One Tampa Bay Corporate Philanthropy Honoree
- Biz941 Magazine’s 2015 Greater Good Award for Philanthropy
- America’s Blood Centers’ 2015 Corporation of the Year
- 80+ People’s Choice Favorites from Local Newspaper/Publication Readers
John is very active outside of his restaurants, as well. He has contributed to many community organizations and has received the following recognitions for his service:
- National Restaurant Association – 2024 Board of Directors
- Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association – 2022-2024 State Board of Directors Chair
- Leadership Florida – 2021-2022 State Board of Directors Chair, Regional Council Chair, Co-Chair of Annual Meeting, Cornerstone Class 28
- Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association – Suncoast Chapter Past President and Treasurer
- US House of Representatives testimonial before the Ways & Means Sub-Committee
- Manatee Chamber of Commerce – Past Board Chair
- Bradenton Area EDC – Executive Board
- Manatee Technical College – Advisory Board of the Culinary Program (Past Chairman)
- University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee – Advisory Board for the College of Hospitality and Tourism Leadership
- State College of Florida – Member of Board of Trustees
- Campaign for Grade-Level Reading – National Reading Champions
- City of Bradenton Beach – CRA Board Member
- Leadership Manatee Alumni Association – Board Member
- School District of Manatee County – Citizens Advisory Board Member and Past Chair
- Bartow High School Hall of Fame
- PACE Center for Girls – Capital Campaign Co-Chair
- PACE Center for Girls – Honorary PACE Girl!
- American Cancer Society
- Manatee Tiger Bay Club – Community Advocate
- AMI Community Center – Executive Committee
- Hernando De Soto Historical Society – Honorary Member
- Together Manatee – Founding Board Member
John is married to Amanda Horne, who shares his passion for improving education in their community.
Amanda works to encourage inclusivity in our community and has spent her career championing access to educational opportunities. The Hornes have been recognized for their leadership and philanthropy by numerous organizations. One award of special significance to the Hornes is receiving the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Neighbor Award in 2018 for their work with their Dive into Reading program, a Summer Grade-Level Reading program for Title I schools in Manatee, Sarasota, and DeSoto Counties now entering its seventh summer where the 2,500th student will attend the program, collaborating with many local restaurants. They were recent recipients of the Manatee Chamber’s Bob P. Bartz Award for Outstanding Leadership and the Pace Center for Girls Statewide Believing in Girls Award for their years of dedication to girls including co-chairing a $6 Million Capital Campaign.
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 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.
The Anna Maria Oyster Bars have been named Small Business of the Year by the Greater Sarasota, Longboat Key and Manatee Chambers of Commerce.
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.
John Horne’s Recent News & Press Features:
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