Women Entrepreneurs and Business Owners Dominate Boynton Beach Plaza
In an article published by the PBP they point to a Boynton Beach CRA business plaza where the tenants are mostly women entrepreneurs. This is an exciting time in Boynton Beach and with creative businesses being launched it is only going to get better – It’s a great time to be opening a business in Boynton Beach!
Anita Znaor, a 47-year-old single mom and native of Croatia, who worked in the service and restaurant industry for 24 years until her two sons became college age. “Okay, it’s my time,” Znaor said she decided. “I wanted to run a business myself.”
In March 2018, Znaor opened Deep Ocean Reef Bar & Grill, a family-style restaurant with a bit of European flair and a menu where everything is made from scratch. “Most people that come here, I don’t lose,” Znaor said.
After a slow start, Znaor said business is “really good.” She attributes that success to her background in the industry. Prior to opening her restaurant, Znaor worked in the cruise industry and also did everything from bartending to waiting tables.
“I always tell people, if you don’t know the entire business, you shouldn’t start it,” Znaor said.
Michelle Gingold, 30, knows what she’s doing. She developed her culinary chops by attending The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale then apprenticing for six years at area restaurants and bakeries. More than two years ago, Gingold opened Del Sol Bakery along with her younger sister, Melisa, who has a business degree and helps on that side of the business. Del Sol opened with only a half-dozen pastries on its menu. Now you can get sandwiches, made-to-order cakes and espresso. The bakery has added two employees since its first muffin was baked. “It’s a lot of work,” Michelle Gingold said. You do everything. It’s not just the baking. We do all the accounting, the managing, anything that comes up. But we also get the freedom of getting to experiment and explore different things. If we want want to try a different bread or flavor of scone, we can do that.” Gingold and the other women in the plaza have formed something of a symbiotic relationship. The bakery, for instance, sells its bread to Znaor’s restaurant. “We look out for each other,” said Trellanie Bray-Poole, owner of Boynton Beach Wine & Spirits.
Among the plaza’s six female store owners, Bray-Poole choice of business venture stands out. Although statistics are hard to come by, female owners of liquor stores appear rare. Bray-Poole said she’s the only one she knows. Bray-Poole also runs a side bail-bond business and is the mother of two, including a 15-year-old daughter who can be found at her mom’s shop after school doing homework.
“I have a different drive that pushes me,” Bray-Poole said.
Bray-Poole has owned her store for more than a year and said it’s “really taken off,” which she thinks is partly a result of her “trusting our customers” to touch the store’s products, while competitors have their merchandise behind glass or other barriers.
A graduate of Santaluces High School, Bray-Poole grew up in the neighborhood surrounding her store and said part of her responsibility is to mentor young people in the area. So when someone under 21 comes into her shop and tries to purchase alcohol illegally, they receive no booze but they do get an earful of straight talk.
“Hearing it from a woman who grew up in the same neighborhood, they go out smiling,” Bray-Poole said. “People say I’m a role model, but I just try to provide encouragement, showing them that the things they think they can’t do, they can.”
The other female business owners at Ocean Palm Plaza are:
— Esraa Dashti, 33, originally from Kuwait who opened Flora Beauty Supply a little over a year ago. “This was my childhood dream,” said Dashti, who immigrated to the U.S. eight years ago.
–- LaShaunte Black, 31, of Boynton Beach, said opening Shaunte Hair Kisses Salon was “overwhelming” and she thought of shutting down a few times. Three years later, Black is still at it. “You just have to keep the faith and know what you want to happen is going to happen,” Black said.
–- Yzala Joseph, from Haiti, is a graduate of Santaluces High and Palm Beach State College and handles accounting, bookkeeping and tax preparation.
The plaza is in the city’s Community Redevelopment Agency district. The CRA is tasked with fostering redevelopment by, for instance, providing grants to small business owners.
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