PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — Imagine packing up everything, moving to a new city you aren’t familiar with, starting a business, and then a pandemic hits out of nowhere.
One Pensacola couple did just that and instead of thinking about the negatives, they have turned it into a positive experience.
This year has brought about many surprises for new owners, Dan and Alison Thero of Bailey’s Produce and Nursery, but it hasn’t stopped them from expanding their business.
Alison Thero posted a YouTube video as she and her husband started their new adventure saying, “Hey there, this is day one of our journey. We have just sold our house and packed everything in a U-Haul that we own and we are leaving Colorado to drive to Pensacola, Florida.”
Alison tells WKRG they had never owned their own business but it was a dream they always had.
“Throughout our marriage we had an ongoing conversation around what it would be like to own our own business,” says Alison.
The couple made it happen and moved across the country to begin a new chapter of their lives. They say the process was very complicated but after researching many businesses across the country, they fell in love with the well known Bailey’s Produce and Nursery store that had just popped up in the market.
“Ours was a value driven decision,” says Alison. “It wasn’t that we wanted to buy a produce market, but we were focused on owning a business that was apart of a community.”
They say the Pensacola community welcomed them with open arms but they never expected the pandemic, Hurricane Sally, or most recently a fire to happen as they still try and get in the swing of things.
Dan Thero says, “You know one of the impacts of the pandemic was the level on uncertainty. So we never knew when we were going to have to shut down. And that always sort of impacted us because we were always on the cusp of are we going to shut down tomorrow. “
However, they defied the odds and their business has been booming. The husband and wife duo work 12 to 14 hours a day seven days a week and just feel lucky they have been able to keep the business up.
“A big shout out to the Bailey family,” says Alison. “It wasn’t that we bought a business and then we were on our own. This family has been very generous and supportive and when you are coming to a new area and tackling a new industry that is new to you that can be a deal breaker.”
They have made new additions, added many new local vendors to their selections, and currently adding a new nursey.
While they keep working hard to keep the Bailey’s legacy in tact, they also say it’s been one of the best things experiences they could have ever done as a couple.
New improvements during this past year included:
• Expansion of the cupboard area to include more
• New wiring throughout the building
• Updates to existing coolers
• Installation of five new coolers and freezers
• Installation of new fans, including those with UV
lighting to eliminate airborne pathogens
• Sealing concrete floors and repainting produce
They want their store to continue to stay as a local as possible and say while it hasn’t been the easiest year, they are grateful for the support of their staff and the community to get them through everything.
Their biggest piece of advice for new business owners is to never be afraid to ask for help.
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