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Business Spotlight

Jul 02

Sharon's Barbershop

Posted on July 2, 2020 at 5:00 PM by Rachel Horst

Sharon in front of her business, Sharon's Barbershop

Sharon’s Barbershop, a long time Cocoa business, has provided barbering services to the greater Space Coast for more than 20 years.  Sharon Solana opened her barbershop in 1998 and she describes it as a traditional barbershop where she provides men’s regular haircuts, beard trims and shaves.  

Sharon, a Space Coast resident, has worked the majority of her career at 970 N. Cocoa Blvd., Suite #6.  The shop feels as though it is a second home, as it has a warm atmosphere with country music playing and memorabilia adorning the walls.  She has a great sense of humor and said, “Many of my signs are funny and represent my light hearted nature.” She pointed out the first two pictures that she hung in the shop and many of the gifts that have been given to her by loyal customers.   

With a tender heart, she recalls many of the 1st haircuts that she has provided to her youngest customers. She also mentions that she cuts the hair of four generations for several families.  She explained how her customers are her extended family and that college graduates and military soldiers will come back for a cut when they return to the area.  When asked about the key to her success she remarks, “Listing to my clients allows me to provide the cut they want.  I am a much better listener than a talker.” 

Sharon has established a clientele to maintain a successful business working Tuesday to Friday from 9:30 am to 5 pm.  The only interruption to that has been the time off during the Coronavirus shutdown.    Since reopening her door, customers have eagerly returned to have Sharon fix many wife, daughter, and self-inflicted bad cuts. All of this has been done under many new safety precautions.  She wears a mask, has appropriate separation for her waiting area and she has developed her own disposable capes for personal use.

Sharon reflected, “I like being in Cocoa, rent is reasonable and it’s a central location for my customers from Cocoa, Rockledge, Merritt Island and Port St. John.”  She is not able to confirm but believes she may very well be the oldest barbershop in Cocoa.  Without doubt, Sharon’s Barbershop serves generations of satisfied customers in Cocoa.   

To contact Sharon for an appointment, call 321-504-0603 or

Jan 06

Down the Road Thrift

Posted on January 6, 2020 at 11:26 AM by Rachel Horst

Down the Road Thrift group photo in front of shopIn November 2017, when Jerry Vaughan started Down the Road Thrift, he had no idea the store would end up finding a home in the heart of Cocoa. While searching for a home for his business, finding the Peachtree spot through Craigslist gave him the perfect location for his true calling, serving Veterans.

Down the Road is a thrift store for the general public but is a nonprofit charity with the goal of helping, “Brevard's in-need or homeless Vet population,” explains Vaughan. “I'm a Veteran, my father was a Veteran, my grandfather worked for the Army Corps of Engineers paving the Cape.” His military history runs deep, and it shows, from the framed portraits of his father and himself in uniform that greet you as you walk through the door, to the memorabilia and photographs of servicemen that line the walls of the “FootLocker” in the back.

Since March of 2018, Vaughan and his team have partnered with Veterans of America and outfitted 186 apartments for Veterans, “from the couch all the way down to the silverware.” To start, the apartments are typically furnished with a bed and nothing else. Vaughan hopes to be able provide for the needs, so all an individual or family has to do is maintain the residence. As with many thrift stores, the rooms are full of shoes, clothing, furniture and more, but what you won't find at other stores is the “FootLocker”. The room lies behind olive green pallet walls, its
contents include; a food pantry, undergarments, toiletries, tents, camping equipment, and even an assortment of military dress uniforms that can be requested by funeral homes to lay a Veteran to rest.

When Down the Road Thrift moved from Rockledge to the current location on Peachtree, Vaughan was met with a Cocoa Police notice on the door, encouraging more lighting for added
safety. The positive partnership between the City of Cocoa and Down the Road Thrift continues to flourish. From the business license process to feeling welcome and wanted in Cocoa, he
doesn't plan on moving the business again any time soon. Stop in and browse the merchandise, strike up a conversation and ask Vaughan for a tour of the shop, he'll happily agree with a smile.
For more information on Down the Road Thrift, you can find Down the Road Thrift on Facebook or visit Down the Road Thrift's website or check out our Down the Road Thrift Business Spotlight feature video.
Oct 17

Crydermans Barbecue

Posted on October 17, 2019 at 10:32 AM by Samia Singleton

Chad & Amy Cryderman

In 2016, husband and wife team Amy and Chad Cryderman opened Historic Cocoa Village’s first barbecue restaurant. Located on the main thoroughfare of Florida Ave., award-winning Crydermans Barbecue receives acclaim for its Central Texas inspired barbecue, from the cuts of meat to sauces made with brisket trimmings. Locals and visitors alike cannot resist the intoxicating aromas of smoked brisket, turkey and pork wafting from the restaurant on a daily basis. While Crydermans Barbecue was an instant dining sensation, this is not an overnight success story.

The story began in 2008, when Mr. Cryderman moved to Florida from Michigan and tried barbecue for the first time. “I never had barbecue before then,” said Mr. Cryderman. The Crydermans starting smoking briskets in their driveway. “A next door neighbor let me borrow the smoker and I fell in love with the idea,” he said.

Shortly thereafter, Mr. and Mrs. Cryderman were inspired to open a restaurant after a successful Christmas party. “I cooked for about 40 people and everyone left very happy,” said Mr. Cryderman. Both husband and wife had restaurant experience with Mr. Cryderman managing a restaurant at the time. The Crydermans wanted to locate the restaurant in a vintage gas station and Mrs. Cryderman, a Cocoa-native, fell in love with the 1930s gas station building on Florida Ave. After nearly 10 years of research and planning, the couple brought their dream from their driveway to fruition.

Crydermans won the 2019 News 6 Best of Barbecue Award, beating 50 other barbecue restaurants throughout Central Florida – a well-deserved feat for a restaurant serving premium, all natural, no growth hormones and no antibiotics sustainably sourced meats, which are then smoked for 24-hours.

The menu at Crydermans includes brisket, smoked turkey, pork spare ribs, pulled pork, and all the accompaniments you would expect to see on a barbecue joint menu. However, Crydermans use of Duroc pork sets it apart from its counterparts. Crydermans number one seller is brisket. “We sell more brisket than all the other meats put together,” said Mr. Cryderman. The Crydermans recommend visitors try every item on the meat-market style menu, where items are priced by the pound.

Making the most of its success, Crydermans recently expanded, opening a second location in Melbourne, FL. and plans to expand to third location in the near future. For more information about Crydermans or to sign up for exclusive deals and promotions, visit