JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Mom and pop stores in and around Jacksonville did what they could to capitalize on a nationally recognized day highlighting small businesses.
In addition to retail shops in many neighborhoods, there’s a mall in Jacksonville where every option in the food court is locally owned and operated.
Lakita Spann owns Mr. Potato Spread.
“It gives consumers and opportunity to be super intentional about supporting companies like my own and others,” said Spann, who also runs a food truck. “I am extremely thankful for days like today. I think it is amazing. You don’t see it anywhere else."
Spann is supportive of all the businesses at the mall.
“We are proving it is not all about competition. We can all survive. We all can do well,” Spann said. “That’s my goal (to revitalize the mall), and that was the very reason myself and my husband decided to move my business to the Regency Square Mall.”
Several of the businesses that move out when The Jacksonville Landing closed are now open at Regency Square.
Michelle Rhoades, who owned a jewelry store at the Landing for 32 years, bought Coastal Cookies’ equipment when that original tenant of the Landing closed earlier this year. She opened First Coast Cookies in Regency’s food court earlier this month.
“Cookies is my calling. I love this!" Rhoades said. "Every day I watched people come to the cookie shop there and buy cookies and walk around with their families and enjoy their time together.”
Just outside the food court is Accentuate Elevate Your Style Boutique, another locally owned and operated business that located from The Landing to the mall.
“We have been here for five months and we were at the Jacksonville Landing for six years," owner Mona Cobb.