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Hobby Town USA set to close in Midtown Tallahassee; how the city's economy is looking as a whole

HobbyTown USA's closure would make it the second in the Capital Plaza shopping center in the past two months.
Posted at 5:20 PM, May 03, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-03 17:20:00-04
  • In just a few days Hobby Town USA in Midtown will close its doors for good.
  • HobbyTown USA's closure would make it the second in the Capital Plaza shopping center in the past two months and the third in the past two years.
  • Watch the video to see why these closures we're seeing are not representative of how all the small businesses in our area are doing according to the Tallahassee-Leon County Office of Economic Vitality.

BROADCAST TRANSCRIPT:

In just a few days Hobby Town USA in Midtown will close its doors for good.

Hobby Town USA was known in our Midtown neighborhood as the place for games, toys, and model sets you couldn't find anywhere else.

The locally owned franchise's loyal customers are now all online trying to get their hands on anything they can—as the store prepares to close.

"It's like, we've just been doing it so long," Vanessa Brodhead | HobbyTown USA's owner said.

WTXL spent part of the day with Brodhead one of the store's owners as she talked with customers.

"When did you decide to or when would you do now so you were closing? "Marc Beshara, a long-time customer asked Brodhead.

"So earlier in April, we told certain people," Brodhead said.

Brodhead and her husband, Michael took over the store lease and its franchise right in 2014 at Capital Plaza off Thomasville Road.

They've had loyal customers like Marc Beshara ever since.

HobbyTown USA's closure would make it the second in the shopping plaza in the past two months.

And the third in the past two years.

Duck Donuts—another locally owned franchise--closed in April.

These closures we're seeing are not representative of how all the small businesses in our area are doing according to the Tallahassee-Leon County Office of Economic Vitality.

"The full picture is our local economy is enjoying a boom," Darryl Jones, OEV Deputy Director, Minority Women & Small Business Enterprise said. "If you look across our community experience, of our community, you see so many new businesses that are starting right. So that means there's a place for both new businesses and our local market, as well as those that have already been here."

The U.S. Small Business Administration-- Florida's small businesses are thriving, adding over 500,000 jobs in 2023 and contributing significantly to the state's overall net job gains.

The Tallahassee-Leon County Office of Economic Vitality showsan increase in net job gains in our area as well. However, Leon County's unemployment rate is rising compared to this time last year.

A post-pandemic slowdown of customers, no one willing to buy them out, and a need to move on to the next step is why their doors are now closing.

"It's sad, but it's a new beginning," Beshara said.

Brodhead said the store will have a soft closing
on Sunday, May 5th. Items will be marked off up to 50%.

They will close on Monday to clean up the store and any remaining fixtures to put up for sell at up to 75% off on Thursday.

They will aim to have a final closing sale on Thursday, May 9 from11-6 for an everything must go sale.