3rd business closes in Florala

Published 1:19 am Saturday, August 27, 2011

A third Florala business has closed its doors, less than one year after its Oct. 15 opening.

Becky Williams, owner of Becky’s Pizza, said the local economy was not enough to support the restaurant.

“It had always been a dream to have my own restaurant,” Williams said. “We thought that Florala, but we were mistaken. There just wasn’t enough business. I was working 81 hours a week, and I hadn’t gotten a paycheck in a year. Things were getting further and further behind, and when no one was coming in, that became a problem.”

Becky’s Pizza is the third restaurant to close its doors. Earlier this month, Bean’s Diner and Country Folks Buffet shut down – Bean’s due to the economy, Country Folks after suffering damage from backed-up sewage.

“I know the economy is bad, but I believe if local residents would support local business, it would be a different place,” Williams said. “I had a few regulars and we were thankful for them, but it wasn’t enough to keep us going.”

Williams said travelers from Crestview and Destin, Fla., who would travel through Florala on the weekends, were the bulk of her customer base.

Luckily, the Williams didn’t incur any debt when opening their business, she said.

“And that was the way we wanted to go out,” she said. “We appreciate the business we did get, and we’ll miss them.”

The owner of another Florala business has said previously that if business doesn’t improve he’ll have to close his doors.

On Friday, Leron Geohagan, owner of Cost Plus grocery store, said he’s “hanging in there.”

Lagging sales and declining customer numbers over the last year have severely affected the business, leading Geohagan to eye closing his store.

“Right now, we’re doing all we can do, and waiting to see,” he said. “We’re trying. We’re not ready to give up, by no means.”