Biz Buzz: Olive Garden closes

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  • | 4:54 p.m. January 13, 2015
  • Ormond Beach Observer
  • Business
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Also: New restaurant succeeding, Blues concert benefits hospital, Realtors announce officers and title company expands

Market conditions force closing

The Olive Garden at 880 S. Atlantic Ave. closed Jan. 10.

Jessica Dinon, spokeswoman for the restaurant chain, said the company continually evaluates the performance of all their restaurants, and this decision was made as part of that process.

“Unfortunately, from time-to-time, we have to close restaurants due to changing local market conditions,” she said. “Closing this restaurant was a difficult business decision, particularly because it impacts our employees and our guests.”

She said she cannot disclose specifics about the performance of any restaurant.

There are three Olive Garden restaurants within 20 miles of the location, with the closest on West International Speedway Boulevard in Daytona Beach. Dinon said all employees at the closed restaurant were offered the opportunity to join other Darden restaurants in the area.

Peach Valley owner reports progress

L. Gale Lemerand, owner of several restaurant chains, said Peach Valley West, which opened last year at 1185 W. Granada Blvd, is doing well, and has not reduced the business of Peach Valley East.

He said they were concerned in the beginning that some customers of Peach Valley East would switch to the new restaurant.

“We didn’t cannibalize anything,” he said. “Apparently we picked up new customers west of I-95.”

Figures from 2014 show that Peach Valley East business in 2014 was ahead of the previous year, and Peach Valley West did almost as well.

Lemerand said providing good service and good food at reasonable prices is the secret to success for a restaurant but access to parking is also important.

He said there is stability in employment at the two restaurants because restaurants close in the afternoon. This allows “working moms” to be home with children in the evening.

He also owns the Pie Five restaurant franchise for Central Florida, and Ormond Beach will get one next year in a mall planned for the lot being developed on West Granada Boulevard just east of Lowe’s Home Improvement. He said the large amount of water on the property slowed the progress, but he hopes to have the restaurant open next summer.

Blues Foundation helps neonatal care

The Daytona Blues Foundation presented a $40,000 check to Halifax Health’s Center for Women and Infant Health on Dec. 5. The donations are proceeds from the 2014 Daytona Blues Festival. The check will go toward the expansion of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Halifax. The foundation also presented a $15,000 check to Project WARM in Bunnell to support mothers in recovery and their children.

Daytona Blues Foundation is not-for-profit business incorporated in 2010 with the dual purpose of developing an annual three-day blues music weekend for the community and generating proceeds for health initiatives for women and children, according to statement from the foundation.

Ormond woman named president

Lori Schultz, Realtor with RE/MAX Signature in Ormond Beach, was installed as 2015 President of the Daytona Beach Chapter Women’s Council of Realtors at the Chapter’s annual banquet at the Ladies Professional Golf Association Clubhouse on Dec. 17.

Additional inductees to the board include President-Elect Paige Brewer, Coldwell Banker Premier Properties; Secretary Susie Bruner, Access National Mortgage; and Treasurer Daniel McHone, Coldwell Banker Premier Properties. The remainder of the 2015 board includes Kris Concannon of RP Funding; Lisa Blythe of Southern Title; and Sue Morrison, RE/MAX Property Centre.

The Daytona Beach Chapter of the Women’s Council of Realtors is a professional development organization. Visit or call 316-3141.

Southern Title Expands North

Southern Title, a regional company with an office at 555 W. Granada Blvd., has opened an office in Jacksonville.

The company has more expansion plans. “We have identified Central Orlando, Gainesville and a return to the Tampa market as well,” said Shelley Stewart, president. Call 316-3141.

Bank announces growth

Reunion Bank of Florida, which has branches throughout Central and Northeast Florida including Ormond Beach, has announced its 2014 earnings performance. Total assets grew by 14%, total loans by 17%, total deposits by 14%, and net income before tax by 13%.

Call 352-508-1030 or visit


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