Business

Wed
09
May

Stetson students take top spots in Cairns Innovation Challenge

WINNING STUDENTS — Stetson University’s Jilissa Zoltko and Thomas Oltorik show off their checks for winning the top two spots at the Cairns Foundation Innovation Challenge.

WINNING STUDENTS — Stetson University’s Jilissa Zoltko and Thomas Oltorik show off their checks for winning the top two spots at the Cairns Foundation Innovation Challenge.

PHOTO COURTESY STETSON UNIVERSITY

A pair of Stetson University students placed first and second in the 2018 Cairns Foundation Innovation Challenge, which gives students enrolled in higher education in Volusia County an opportunity to present an entrepreneurial project idea to a panel of judges.

Thomas Oltorik of DeLand won the top prize of $10,000 plus one-year enrollment at the UCF Volusia County Business Incubator, and Jilissa Zoltko of Sarasota took home $5,000 plus one-year, pre-enrollment support at the Incubator.

Sponsored by the Cairns Foundation, the Daytona Beach UCF Business Incubator and Volusia County, the competition was held at the Advanced Technology Center on the Daytona State College campus. Participating schools included Stetson University, Daytona State College, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and Bethune-Cookman University.

Zoltko and Oltorik were two of the three Stetson students among the final six contestants chosen by Cairns Foundation judges.

Wed
09
May

Hometown Hound’s new owner already groomed for position

CHANGING HANDS — Pictured are Jess Parker, right, who sold her popular mobile pet-grooming business, Hometown Hound, to experienced groomer Megan Butler.

CHANGING HANDS — Pictured are Jess Parker, right, who sold her popular mobile pet-grooming business, Hometown Hound, to experienced groomer Megan Butler.

BEACON PHOTOS/ERIKA WEBB

Jess Parker with her dog Dolly, left, and Megan Butler with her dog Smeagol, walk along West Georgia Avenue.

Jess Parker with her dog Dolly, left, and Megan Butler with her dog Smeagol, walk along West Georgia Avenue.

Ten years ago, Jess Parker opened her first business. Her initial vision is now reality. Hometown Hound Mobile Pet Grooming is booming.

Since grooming school, Parker wanted to be the mobile groomer.

“I wanted the business name to pop. Hometown Hound — it’s my hometown. Now it’s pretty much a household name, like Johnson & Johnson,” she said, cracking herself up. “I’ve made it as big as I wanted it. It’s exactly what I envisioned.”

At a celebration April 29 at Persimmon Hollow Brewing Co., Parker announced she is passing the clippers to a new owner, Megan Butler, who has worked for the same corporate grooming shop for 12 years and also operates out of a small, private shop in DeLand.

Introduced by Persimmon Hollow co-owner Andy Sistrunk, the two discovered they had more than mutual friends in common.

Sitting down with them in the popular brewery was entertaining.

Wed
02
May

Unique salon suites open in Orange City

WORKING HER MAGIC — Stylist Dawn Scrivner blow-dries the hair of customer Tracy Clemente in Scrivner’s workspace inside My Salon Suite in Orange City.

WORKING HER MAGIC — Stylist Dawn Scrivner blow-dries the hair of customer Tracy Clemente in Scrivner’s workspace inside My Salon Suite in Orange City.

BEACON PHOTOS/JOE CREWS

HALL OF POSSIBILITIES — Rental spaces line both sides of this interior hallway at My Salon Suite. The business has nearly two dozen suites that can be rented to hairstylists, nail technicians and other beauty-salon professionals.

HALL OF POSSIBILITIES — Rental spaces line both sides of this interior hallway at My Salon Suite. The business has nearly two dozen suites that can be rented to hairstylists, nail technicians and other beauty-salon professionals.

Hairstylists, nail technicians and other beauty professionals now can have their own private suites rather than sharing space with others.

My Salon Suite, a collection of nearly two dozen luxury professional spaces, has opened in the West Volusia Towne Center on Harley Strickland Boulevard, next door to Goodwill Industries.

Although the Orange City suites just opened in early April, all but four of the 23 spaces already have been leased, said franchise owner Mario Pineda, who also owns My Salon Suites in Ocala and Lakeland.

My Salon Suite is a collection of individual upscale workspaces, each fully equipped with the latest in salon equipment, a styling station and full-length mirror, a shampoo sink, a color station and storage. The professionals, who are called members in My Salon Suite parlance, can decorate their suites as they wish.

Wed
02
May

Brickhouse Grill to become a banquet venue

SCALING BACK — Twins Frank, left, and Bill Jennings have closed their longtime Brickhouse Grill restaurant so they can focus on growing their catering business.

SCALING BACK — Twins Frank, left, and Bill Jennings have closed their longtime Brickhouse Grill restaurant so they can focus on growing their catering business.

BEACON PHOTOS/JOE CREWS

MOVING OUT — Bartender Paige Levesque places bar glasses in a bin so they can be taken to Byte Bistro, since the bar at Brickhouse Grill will be demolished.

MOVING OUT — Bartender Paige Levesque places bar glasses in a bin so they can be taken to Byte Bistro, since the bar at Brickhouse Grill will be demolished.

After nearly three decades in the restaurant business, twins Bill and Frank Jennings want to scale back their workloads. So they’re converting one of their two eateries in Downtown DeLand into a place in which they can hold banquets, corporate events or other large gatherings.

The former Bill & Frank’s Brickhouse Grill, which closed April 21, is destined to become Venue 142, named for its address at 142 N. Woodland Blvd. They hope to have the new space up and running by August.

The change doesn’t affect their other restaurant, Byte Bistro, across the street at 145 N. Woodland Blvd.

“We’re shutting down for quality-of-life reasons,” Bill Jennings said in an interview with his brother. “We’ve been working 80 to 90 hours a week, and we’re just trying to step back.”

The brothers started in the business when they were 19 years old, Bill said. They’ve operated a series of restaurants in Downtown DeLand, with Brickhouse being the most long-lived.

Wed
25
Apr

Cottage community planned for DeLand neighborhood

COMMON AREAS GALORE — The Azalea Walk community is expected to feature 17 cottages surrounding common areas where residents can meet and recreate. The community is being developed by Gallery Homes of DeLand.

COMMON AREAS GALORE — The Azalea Walk community is expected to feature 17 cottages surrounding common areas where residents can meet and recreate. The community is being developed by Gallery Homes of DeLand.

IMAGES COURTESY GALLERY HOMES

HOW IT’S LAID OUT — Azalea Walk is planned to feature 17 cottages laid out as shown in this site plan, with common areas and garage parking available.

HOW IT’S LAID OUT — Azalea Walk is planned to feature 17 cottages laid out as shown in this site plan, with common areas and garage parking available.

Elegant cottage living is coming to East Plymouth Avenue northeast of Downtown DeLand and Stetson University.

Azalea Walk at Plymouth will feature 17 cottage-style homes clustered around common areas, said Bob Fitzsimmons, president of Gallery Homes of DeLand, which is developing the community.

“It’s our first foray into these pocket neighborhoods,” he said. “It’s cottage-style homes with nice finishes.”

The development promises a private, secure setting, located on the north side of East Plymouth Avenue between North Garfield and North Boston avenues.

While the infill development is still undergoing review by city planners, Azalea Walk is planned to stretch north of the 500 block of East Plymouth Avenue and wrap westward behind a single-family home. The roughly 4.5-acre community will be bordered on the east by the Northern Oaks subdivision and another single-family home, and along the north by homes on the south side of John Thomas Drive.

Wed
25
Apr

A breath of fresh air for sinus sufferers

​​​​​​​INSERTING A BALLOON — Dr. Devang Shah performs balloon sinus dilation on an awake, comfortable patient in his Orange City office.

INSERTING A BALLOON — Dr. Devang Shah performs balloon sinus dilation on an awake, comfortable patient in his Orange City office.

For the millions of Americans who suffer from the debilitating symptoms of chronic sinusitis — headaches, sinus congestion, and facial pain and pressure — there’s a new procedure that can be life-changing. And the key is a very small balloon.

Most people who suffer from recurrent or persistent sinusitis continuously cycle through decongestants, antibiotics and nasal steroids as the infections come and go.

“It never quit,” one patient told us. “Once I got off antibiotics, the pressure would rebuild because the infection was still there, and my head always felt full.”

When the drugs cannot provide sufficient relief, the “last resort” for many patients has been endoscopic sinus surgery, a hospital procedure requiring a general anesthetic. It’s safe and effective, but recovery can take a week or more.

Wed
18
Apr

Play place for toddlers opens in Orange City

COLORFUL SURROUNDINGS — Owner Elizabeth Jackson plays with her youngest daughter, Chelsea, in the right foreground, while other kids frolic in Awesome Blossom Indoor Play Place one recent afternoon.

COLORFUL SURROUNDINGS — Owner Elizabeth Jackson plays with her youngest daughter, Chelsea, in the right foreground, while other kids frolic in Awesome Blossom Indoor Play Place one recent afternoon.

BEACON PHOTOS/JOE CREWS

​​​​​​​AWESOME MANAGEMENT — Manager Jasmine Sparrow, left, and owner Elizabeth Jackson run the Awesome Blossom Indoor Play Place in Orange City, where kids up to 5 years of age can play in a safe, clean environment.

AWESOME MANAGEMENT — Manager Jasmine Sparrow, left, and owner Elizabeth Jackson run the Awesome Blossom Indoor Play Place in Orange City, where kids up to 5 years of age can play in a safe, clean environment.

Elizabeth Jackson kept waiting for someone to open a place where she could take her little ones to play. But when nothing like that came along, she decided to open one herself.

And thus was born Awesome Blossom Indoor Play Place, where moms (and dads) can bring their youngsters and play with them in a clean, family-friendly space. The children all must be 5 years old or younger.

“Little kids get trampled on in parks,” Jackson told The Beacon recently. “This is a safe environment for them to play in, and it’s protected from the unpredictable Florida weather.”

Jackson named the business based on a core belief that every child is awesome and blossoms in his or her own unique way.

Awesome Blossom opened last October in the Orange City Town Center on Enterprise Road. The brightly decorated room features various multicolored structures children can climb on or interact with under the guidance and assistance of their parents.

Wed
18
Apr

Winn-Dixie unveils newly remodeled store

OFFICIALLY OPEN — Store Manager Thomas Seay, left of center, and employees cut a ribbon to officially reopen a Winn-Dixie store at 1050 W. New York Ave. in DeLand.

OFFICIALLY OPEN — Store Manager Thomas Seay, left of center, and employees cut a ribbon to officially reopen a Winn-Dixie store at 1050 W. New York Ave. in DeLand.

BEACON PHOTO/MARSHA MCLAUGHLIN

Just weeks after announcing a store on DeLand’s south side will be among 94 stores in four brands closing as part of a corporate financial restructuring, Winn-Dixie officially reopened a recently remodeled store on the west side of the city.

The company renovated the store at 1050 W. New York Ave. in response to customers who asked for an improved shopping experience, company officials said.

A ribbon-cutting took place April 12 as part of a ceremony to officially reintroduce the community to the new and improved store.

Anthony Hucker, president and chief executive of Southeastern Grocers, Winn-Dixie’s parent company, said Winn-Dixie’s roots and established “history of commitment and service” in DeLand go back more than 32 years.

Wed
11
Apr

Tech repair shop opens in north DeLand

PROUD OWNER — Zach McCamie co-owns the new uBreakiFix store on DeLand’s north side. He’s an Orlando firefighter; his wife, co-owner Christen McCamie, is a real estate broker.

PROUD OWNER — Zach McCamie co-owns the new uBreakiFix store on DeLand’s north side. He’s an Orlando firefighter; his wife, co-owner Christen McCamie, is a real estate broker.

BEACON PHOTOS/JOE CREWS

CREW AT WORK — Employees concentrate on their repair work at the new uBreakiFix store in DeLand.

CREW AT WORK — Employees concentrate on their repair work at the new uBreakiFix store in DeLand.

It feels like the end of the world. You sat on your $600 or $800 smartphone and cracked the screen. Or worse, dropped it into a puddle of water. The horror! And now you’re staring at shelling out hundreds of dollars to buy a replacement.

But fear not, technology user. Now there’s a shop on the north side of DeLand where you can take your cellphone, computer, tablet, game console or any other electronic device and get cracked screens, water damage, software issues, camera issues, and almost any other problem repaired for much less than the cost of replacing the device.

The appropriately named uBreakiFix is now open across from the Walmart Supercenter. Zachary and Christen McCamie — he’s a firefighter with the City of Orlando; she’s a real estate broker — are the franchisee owners of the new store.

Wed
11
Apr

Stetson University gets $18M gift for science and health education

SMILES ALL AROUND — From left, Stetson University Provost Noel Painter, President Wendy B. Libby, trustees Cici and Hyatt Brown, and board Chair Joe Cooper celebrate an announcement that the Browns had donated $18 million to the university.

SMILES ALL AROUND — From left, Stetson University Provost Noel Painter, President Wendy B. Libby, trustees Cici and Hyatt Brown, and board Chair Joe Cooper celebrate an announcement that the Browns had donated $18 million to the university.

PHOTO COURTESY STETSON UNIVERSITY

A Daytona Beach businessman and his wife have made the largest-ever single donation in Stetson University’s 135-year history to further the school’s mission of science education and research.

“With this gift, the university’s great friends, supporters, and members of our Board of Trustees — Hyatt and Cici Brown — have provided $18 million for the continuing growth and excellence of Stetson science education and research,” Stetson University President Wendy B. Libby, Ph.D, said in a news release announcing the donation. “Their generosity will enable Stetson to meet the increasing demand for science and health graduates in high paying jobs, enhance faculty and student research capabilities, and contribute to the economic growth and high quality of life in Central Florida.”

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