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How hard is it to keep food businesses open in Tallahassee?

This raises the question of how hard
How hard is it to keep food businesses open in Tallahassee.jpg
Posted at 6:54 PM, Mar 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-01 18:54:00-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — After nine months in business, one Tallahassee bakery will be closing its doors for good Saturday.

Southern Velvet Bakery is just the latest closure.

Connie's Hams recently announced they will be closing this year after 32 years in business, and Jasmine Cafe closed in December after 17 years.

This raises the question of how hard is it to keep a food business running in Tallahassee? WTXL's Brittany Barnett finds out.

The owners of Southern Velvet Bakery are turning off the "open sign", after being in business since June.

"I'm crushed because this was the biggest dream of my life so far," said Stephanie Waldo, Southern Velvet Bakery Owner.

As a first time business owner, Waldo faced all kinds of struggles, like time and money.

"It takes time to make a name in the community and to build a crowd or regulars," said Waldo. "Word travels fast, but bad word travels faster. It's very easy for people to take advantage of that and to spread a bad reputation."

Just on the other side of town, Tasty Pastry Bakery has had a different business experience as they have been open here for 32 years.

"Business is good. We are very fortunate that we've had a great, loyal clientele. So we are a well established local business," said Mark Cross, President of Tasty Pastry Bakery.

But it hasn't always been easy. Cross says it takes extremely hard work to keep the doors open.

"Some years are better than others. Recently, the economy has improved. Our customer count and traffic has reflected that," said Cross.

Against the odds, both business owners are motivated to keep pushing forward to make a difference in the food industry.

Waldo says that she plans to continue her passion of baking despite her store closing. She will focus on a small scale cookie decorating business.