Jessie Esposito hated that she had to drive into Palmetto or Bradenton every time she needed to grab just a few items. Like many residents of Twin Dolphin Marina, Jessie lives on a docked boat and prefers to walk rather than drive. If Jessie forgot something on a grocery trip it often wasn’t worth the trip all the way back to the store. She knew something needed to change, but the real catalyst came when a downtown event made it impossible to go anywhere.
“My truck got blocked in during one of our festivals downtown and I needed to go to the grocery store,” Jessie explained. “I needed to call a friend and have them come over and take me and then I just go to the point where I got so tired of driving across the bridge or down Manatee just to get a couple of items I needed from the store.”
The solution was for Jessie to open up a convenience store at the marina where boaters would have access to many basic items which would eliminate the need for trips into town. But as a retired NYC detective Jessie had never operated a business and had no idea where to start.
“My whole career was being a cop, so I didn’t understand what a business was all about and money and running numbers, you know? Trying to understand projections and things like that,” she said.
Working with SCC taught Jessie everything she needed to open her business. “I needed to learn from square one way on up, and everything I learned got my business going,” she said.
Jessie said SCC Advisor John Clement helped her better understand the time and money aspects of business. He took the time to make sure she understood the business concepts they were discussing. She also found it helpful knowing that John and other members of SCC have been in her shoes.
“They’re in business but they’ve also had their own business before,” Jessie said. “They make you understand so that they show you where you can fail and where you can succeed. I couldn’t have opened without SCC and their advice to me.”
Since opening “It’s About Time” convenience store in November Jessie has been met with overwhelming success. Originally she projected she would break even on her initial investment in six months- instead she did it in three.
“Every day another person comes in that’s new. And since I got my beer, wine and cigarette license it’s also been really helpful in profits.”
Jessie is quick to attribute her success to the services offered at Suncoast Community Capital.
“I hope that they’re very successful and help many people like they help me because it’s really a great need,” Jessie said. “They gave me the confidence to say, ‘Yeah, I can do this now’ and I did.”
“It’s About Time” Mini Mart is located at 1000 1st Avenue West in Bradenton at the Twin Dolphin Marina. Stop by today or call 941-896-9616 for more information.