One small corner of High Springs, Fla. will soon offer cookies, tattoos, antiques, paddle boards and a spot to hang out.
Two couples are bringing four businesses together on one lot at 25 NE First Ave. to create The Corner, a retail market opening in March designed to be a community gathering place.
David and Wendy Newman, owners of The Talented Cookie Company, plan on getting a larger space for the bakery and are opening the Speakeasy Tattoo Parlour. The other couple, Kate Maurer and her fiancé Anthony Douglas are planning to open Drift Stand-Up Paddle Boards (SUP) and Roadside Relics.
The owners are doing most of the renovations themselves, including landscaping. They will hire contractors to paint. Maurer estimates this will cost a few thousand dollars, which they are hoping to split with the city in return for revamping the old building.
The inside needs to be cleared out, cleaned up and painted. The Talented Cookie Company is renovating the kitchen to add space for baking. The Newmans, Maurer and Douglas are paying for everything with savings.
David Newman said he hopes The Corner will become a comfortable High Springs communal hangout spot.
“I just want people to feel like they’re in their living room,” he said.
Scotty Reece, a 20-year-old High Springs resident, is a regular at The Talented Cookie Company. Reece usually drinks a cinnamon bun- or pumpkin spice-flavored latte and occasionally meets with his pastor at the bakery.
“I think it would be good to have a new hang out area,” Reece said. “I think High Springs does need that.”
The Corner will be located down the street from True Blue Café, whose co-owner Rebekah Murray hopes the new spot will draw a younger demographic into High Springs.
“We need anything new and funky, new faces,” she said.
The Newmans said they were talking about getting a larger space for the bakery when they decided to join forces with Maurer, a customer, who was collecting antiques with her fiancé in hopes of opening her own store.
Drift SUP will be one of the first vendors in the area to sell and rent-out paddleboards for people to take to the river and springs.
“We’re wanting to bring something different to the water that I’m surprised has not been here yet,” Maurer said. She and Douglas, who will be first-time business owners, had planned to open an antique store for a long time. When they fell in love with paddle boarding, they decided to add to their inventory.
David Newman said he thinks the businesses will complement each other.
Once the businesses are open, David Newman said they plan on hosting monthly movie nights and food truck rallies to promote family fun.
“We’re trying to get more people to do things in town than going out of town to the other venues,” Wendy Newman said.