Also: Weight lifting equipment designer said business is picking up.
The new Barnes & Noble at Tomoka Town Center has a pleasant, contemporary look, with its open design, oak bookshelves and comfortable reading areas, and management hopes it becomes a gathering place for the community.
“We want you to sit down, read and talk to each other,” said Store Manager David Michelet at a recent sneak-peak for the media.
It’s the company’s new prototype store, the first in Florida. Though much smaller than the recently closed Barnes and Noble on International Speedway Boulevard, it doesn’t appear that way as low-profile bookshelves allow a view of the entire store and easy-to-spot way-finding signs. There’s a mix of wood-grain tile and carpeting.
Frank Morabito, vice president of stores, called the smaller store more flexible with an emphasis on local interest and authors, and said bookstores are not going out of style.
“If people weren’t buying books, we wouldn’t be opening these stores,” he said.
There’s also a selection toys and games, vinyl records, journals and gift items geared for readers.
There are reading areas in addition to seating at a Starbucks in the store, plus a children’s section with planned weekly story times.
The store is located at 1115 Cornerstone Blvd., Suite C. Search for @BNDaytonaBeach.
Restaurant Row plans beach cleanup
Restaurant Row, a recently formed group of businesses on South State Road A1A, has organized a beach and river cleanup event for Saturday, April 27. To take part, meet at 11 a.m. at Tipsy Taco, 746 S. Atlantic Ave for registration, location assignments, snacks and live music. The participants will meet back at Tipsy Taco 1:30-2 p.m. for festivities. A raffle will raise money to create a 501-c3 for future community activities. Call Lena Lux at (386) 846-4012.
Market manager named
Russell Mariott, of Ormond Beach, has been selected to serve as the executive director of regional marketing for the five AdventHealth hospitals in Flagler and Volusia counties.
Limoncello North, 1185 W. Granada Blvd., Suite 5, has closed. The owners still operate Limoncello South at 737 E. 3rd Ave. New Smyrna Beach. Call 386-444-3716.
Future bright for equipment designer
Cy Manula, owner of Sky Active Strength Studio, 187 S. Yonge St., designs his own weightlifting machines, and he has recently noticed the prices of his Chinese competitors going up, which helps his business.
“Say what you want about Trump, but the tariffs have levelled the playing field,” he said.
Manula has been designing equipment for 15 years, and his most recent creation is the Master Press, a standalone machine for upper body and leg work with weights, replacing 10 machines. He says it has the safety of a machine because it has a defined area of movement, yet the versatility of free weights.
He has the machines manufactured at a company in Lakeland. A life-long weight lifter, Manula uses his experience to design the products.
“I know how they are supposed to feel. I’ve trained on every machine out there,” he said. “Our products are designed by lifters for lifters.”
His business slowed in the recession, with gym owners turning to China for better prices. Over the past year, he’s seen the price of Chinese products going up, not only because of the tariffs, but higher wages in China. Buyers turn to American-made products for quality.
“Things are looking pretty good for us now,” he said. “It’s an exciting time.”
Interest in fitness is growing, with thousands of centers opening around the U.S. each year. Manula said he has noticed a return to the basics, such as weights, jogging and calisthenics.
Working out at his studio recently was Austin Curtis, local exercise physiologist.
“The Master Press is the most versatile piece of equipment since the hammer-strength line of equipment,” he said. He said fitness people would know about the hammer-strength line.