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Last Update: Friday October 20, 2017

Feasel of DeLand, Florida and the Rebirth of Downtown

Work To Improve Your Community.

DeLand, Florida: Meet John Gregory, his brother, Pete, and the people of this quaint town just northeast or Orlando.  John bought Feasel Paint and Glass from the founder then eventually sold it to his brother, Pete.  He says, "My best friend should be my fellow small business owner. We need to be talking with each other. We have bigger competitors to fight than each other. And by joining forces and joining heads, you know, we can generally come to a better resolve on what we need to do on a more local basis."

Big business homogenizes. Small Business diversifies.  On the Main Street of this town they celebrate the rich variety of one-of-a kind shops owned by locals.  Just on the outskirts of town looms Lowes and Home Depot. How does a family-owned hardware store on Main Street survive? How can they compete?
 
There are no simple answers. Small businesses must develop a many-sided customer relation that competes in value against the volume discounts of the "big box" retailers.  Editor's Note:  About ten years after this episode was first aired, Feasels closed its doors.  But, do visit Deland and walk  her Main Street;  buy something and talk with the folks. Encourage their esprit de corps for their continued Main Street revitalization. Cited by the National Trust for Historic Preservation as a "Great American Main Street" award winner.

Many merchants working together have revitalized this historic business district.  They  have  learned that when you help others, you help yourself.

Your business should challenge you to be better everyday in every way

Work On Your Ecosystem

3:40 | Play Now   |   Deland won the Great American Main Street award because merchants pulled together.

Pay with Sweat

2:03 | Play Now   |   When the founder of Feasel  was ready to retire, a long-time employee was ready to buy.

Recruit From Big Business

3:06 | Play Now   |   Pete Gregory worked for big chains then joined his brother to help grow Feasel Paint.

Enjoy Serving

2:27 | Play Now   |   Owner John Gregory says that the secret to success is to find joy in helping people.

Offer Your Customers Expert Advice

2:17 | Play Now   |   Customers want quality products and they want insight on how to use what they buy.

Hire Those Who Want To Learn

4:31 | Play Now   |   Employees stay where they are challenged to learn about new products and technologies.

See The Big Picture

3:16 | Play Now   |   On Deland's main street, host Hattie Bryant, says that all of the merchants pull together.

Talk Through Problems

2:03 | Play Now   |   Pete Gregory and his brother keep smiling because they keep talking even when it's hard.


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