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Everybody's business

Mail and movies combine at store

Go Postal on E Davis Boulevard rents videos and handles packages until 9 p.m. seven days a week.

By MICHAEL CANNING
Published January 14, 2005


Orlando entrepreneur Doug Taylor has chosen the Davis Islands business district as the next location for his nascent retail concept: a postal business with video rental.

Go Postal opened three weeks ago at 304-C E Davis Blvd.

"Why can't you ship seven days a week till 9 o'clock at night?" Taylor asked in discussing his concept.

Along with a full-service packing and shipping store, he stocks about 900 DVD videos for rental. That way he has a revenue stream to justify staying open until 9 p.m.

"It hasn't caught on yet, but I think it will," Taylor said.

The last pickup for overnight deliveries at Go Postal is 7 p.m., about the same time as other postal business stores. But Taylor's idea is to offer a place to drop off your delivery after 7, and have it properly packaged if necessary.

And while you're at it, why not grab a copy of The Stepford Wives or Spider-Man 2?

For customers arriving after 7 p.m. with packages that absolutely positively must get there overnight, Go Postal workers will make express trips to the main post office at Tampa International Airport after the store closes.

Go Postal offers a full array of packaging and moving supplies and services, and can handle heavy freight. There you can also use a copy machine, rent a post office box, and, yes, buy stamps.

Go Postal's video selection is typical. Unlike Blockbuster, there are late fees: $2 a day. Membership, $15 a month, allows unlimited rentals. For nonmembers, it's $3.49 for two nights.

Taylor expects to increase his selection to 3,000 titles by early February.

His first Go Postal opened in Orlando in December. Another location opened in Gainesville concurrently with the Davis Islands store. Taylor hopes to sell Go Postal franchises all over the nation.

In the meantime, he commutes from his Orlando home to Davis Islands every few days to oversee his new store. He's considering moving to Tampa, he said.

Go Postal's hours are 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 to 9 Saturday, and noon to 9 p.m. Sunday.

SWEET BOUQUET DOWNTOWN: Yet another franchise is now calling South Tampa home.

Candy Bouquet opened downtown at 214 E Cass St. Nov. 8. Franchise owners Michael (pronounced "Mick-hile") and his wife, Martine Miller, use a wide array of candies and chocolates, cellophane and Mylar to fashion imitation flower bouquets with edible buds and blooms.

Besides candy bouquets, they also offer gourmet gift baskets packed with items such as cheeses, salami, sparkling ciders, crackers, cookies, teas and coffees, flavored popcorn and salsas. The Millers specialize in creating unique baskets or bouquets for a particular theme.

Customers can bring in anything that would serve as a container and have an appropriate arrangement made. Like a football helmet filled with a Super Bowl-themed arrangement.

Longtime florists, the Millers also sell real plants, silk flowers and baskets. Fresh flowers might be added in the future.

Store hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Based in Little Rock, Ark., Candy Bouquet was founded in 1989 and has more than 650 franchises worldwide.

SOUTHTOWN CENTER FILLING UP: An ice cream shop, two restaurants and a florist are for sure; a bank is a strong possibility. That's the tally for recent additions at SouthTown Center.

The soon-to-open retail development is at the physical and figurative center of South Tampa, the Dale Mabry Highway and Neptune Street intersection. So far the list of future tenants include Regis Trade Secret beauty supply store and a Regis Hair Masters salon, Mama Fu's Noodle House, Moe's Southwest Grill and Massage Envy.

Now SouthTown leasing agent Caleb Lewis says florist 1-800-Flowers.com will open sometime in February, and an ice cream parlor will be announced soon.

He declined to name the bank said to be considering SouthTown's two-story building at the corner of Dale Mabry and Neptune. But Lewis said his company, Bishop and Associates, intends to have the building occupied by a bank.

About 35 to 40 percent of the four-building, 45,000-square-foot project remains unleased, Lewis said.

Hair Masters, Trade Secret and the restaurants are also scheduled to open in February, Lewis said. Massage Envy is set to open Jan. 21, according to business owner Rich Dunning.

Do you know something that should be everybody's business? Call 226-3394, or e-mail mikecanning@hotmail.com

[Last modified January 13, 2005, 10:13:09]


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