ETX businesses share triumphs and trials on Mom and Pop Business - | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

ETX businesses share triumphs and trials on Mom and Pop Business Day

The Glass Onion The Glass Onion

March 29 is National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day, a day to celebrate the small businesses in our communities.

Three mom and pop businesses in Tyler sat down to talk with us about the trials and triumphs of manning their own shops.

Mark Franzen, 23, says his family couldn't have chosen a better business to open six months ago than Geek World, a gaming and comics shop where the main concept is just hanging out.

"We're open 7 days a week, 10 to midnight, and there's a reason," Franzen said. "It's just because we get packed pretty much all day every day."

Pam Gabriel opened Sweet Gourmet in Tyler six years ago and says the work has been long and hard.

"When you're working for someone, the pressure is not nearly as great as what it is when you own your own business," said Gabriel. "You want your business to succeed. You want to offer a good product to the community."

Gabriel says she's withstood the recession pretty well and business is picking up again, but The Glass Onion owner Felecia Holloway says it's been hard getting started in this economy.

"I made the decision to go retail, and that actually made it quite a bit more difficult because it's not a necessity," Holloway said. "You know, if you have a necessity type of business during a hard time of the economy, people are still going to need that, you know. They're still going to want food, gas, and liquor. Those are the necessities, apparently, because those businesses still do very well."

But Franzen thinks a soft economy has helped his business.

"It's a lot more expensive to go to a bar and spend $50 on drinks when you can come here and spend $15 on a draft or not spend anything and just play board games all day," he said.

No matter the difficulties, all three of these mom and pops say they'd do it all over again in a heart beat.

"Because it's mine," Holloway said, laughing. "It's worth it. I don't know anybody who is lucky enough to get a job that they love, much less build a business that they have a passion for and continue on with it."

"Definitely, I would do it again," said Gabriel. "It's a lot of fun. It's a good life."

There are more than 27 million small businesses in the U.S. and about 70 percent of all new jobs created in the U.S. are for small businesses.

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