As we look back on 2021, we’d be remiss if we didn’t recognize some of the individuals that contributed to Lakeland by opening their businesses in Swan City. Take a look at 14 businesses that made their mark on our town this year.
863 Company, remote | Custom doormats took Lakeland by storm in 2021 thanks to Gabriella Owen, owner of 863 Company. From family names to pub-sub imagery, homes from the northside to the southside welcomed guests with hand-painted artwork. Custom orders are closed for now, but you can join the waiting list to place an order in January.
Botany Cats, location varies | The first mobile cat lounge + plant nursery to come to Lakeland made a big splash this year after launching in September. Owner Janette Nettler is experienced in veterinary medicine and plants, specializing in cat-safe plants. A van for the mobile lounge has been secured and is currently undergoing renovations.
CYCLEdelic, 3505 Cleveland Heights Blvd. | Lakeland’s first indoor cycling-specific facility opened this year thanks to Guinness World Record holder Mary Marcia Brown. From single rides to committed memberships, cyclists can get pedaling + snag a smoothie for the road seven days a week.
Dissent Brewing, 125 S. Kentucky Ave. | Dissent Brewing brought it’s famous “Outspoken Ales” to downtown Lakeland in October. Whether you’re craving a Blueberry Marshmallow Berliner Weisse or a Mexican Chocolate Cake Imperial Stout, you can get one seven days a week.
Do or Dye, 1117 Florida Ave S. Ste. 101 | Owner Kevin Abad, a certified Schwarzkopf Master Colorist who worked in the service industry for 20+ years, started this business in July to create a custom-designed hair salon in the Dixieland community.
Gaskins Barbeque and Lobster, 1614 Town Center Dr. | This Winter Haven favorite expanded to Lakeland this fall. Known for its lobster rolls and lobster grilled cheese, the family-owned restaurant brought the flavors of Maine all the way to Swan City. You can dine in on Wednesday-Sunday from 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
Home Court by Tracy McGrady, 3615 S. Florida Ave., #1350 | Bartow native, former NBA All-Star + Orlando Magic player Tracy McGrady opened this family-friendly sports bar on Feb. 24, 2021. To view the business’ hours, order online, or save yourself a seat, click here.
Krazy Kombucha, 1030 Florida Ave. S. | This kombucha brewery opened its doors in June. After years of operating out of Catapult + the Lakeland Curb Farmer’s Market, owner Wendy Johnson and business partner AJ Jackson won $10,000 in micro-grant funding from Catapult Lakeland. These funds allowed the pair to install a tap system that helped them launch their brick-and-mortar location.
Love Bird — Almost Famous Chicken, 2102 S. Florida Ave. | This business answered the long awaited question: “What’s coming to the old Beacon Starbucks location?” Known for its spicy chicken sandwiches, savory sides, and decadent desserts, this local eatery is no stranger to lines wrapped around the building. You can view their menu + plan your lunch trip for today at 11:30 a.m.
Paint Nail Bar, 1486 Town Center Dr. | Lakeland’s first non-toxic nail bar came to Lakeside Village this year. Owner Chelsea Dyer chose to open her business in Swan City because of Lakeland’s love for small businesses + entrepreneurship.
Pressed Lakeland, 213 E. Bay St. | Christina + Paul Needham brought this local bookshop to the former home of Twenty Seven over thes ummer. From book talks to readings, this space was designed to be a gathering space for book lovers, coffee fanatics, and people looking to enjoy a new space in downtown Lakeland.
Rooted Lakeland, 5327 Florida Ave. | This family-owned smoothie and juice bar celebrated its grand opening on Dec. 4, 2021. You can stop by the shop Monday-Friday from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. or Saturday from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. for protein shakes, mini donuts, and acai bowls.
Sweet Cup Cafe, 1401 Lakeland Hills Blvd. | This sister-owned burst of bubblegum pink on Lakeland’s north side is owned + operated by Francelly and Yesenia Garcia. The duo launched their business in March of 2021 to bring home-cooked foods from their culture to Lakeland’s food scene. You can find their hours + menu here.
Uliana Events, 1216 S. Florida Ave. | After a year in business doing custom floral arrangements, the team behind Uli & Co. launched a customizable event space in the heart of Dixieland in 2021. You can book the space by the hour or for a full day for anything from bridal showers to company dinners.
In addition to businesses that opened their doors this year, a few have already shared plans to open for business in 2022. Jude Coffee, a mobile coffee cart, Waco Kitchen, a farm-to-table restaurant coming to Lakeland Linder International Airport, and The Shed, an expansion of The Joinery, are just a few.
Do you have a favorite new biz that didn’t make the list? Tell us about it.