Oct 28

Beef O'Brady's - Cocoa

Posted on October 28, 2020 at 10:41 AM by Rachel Horst

Sean O'Reilly in front of Beef O'Brady's bar
Building a family of repeat customers, being able to flow with change and creating relational bonds has been the key to Sean O'Reilly's success at Beef O'Brady's located at Cocoa Commons, 2301 Hwy 524, Cocoa. Beef O'Brady's is a Florida restaurant franchise offering 'good food and good sports.' The Cocoa location has an Irish pub feel, accented with 45 or more TV's.
Sean O'Reilly, the owner of Beef O'Brady's at Cocoa Commons, emphasizes, “For any small restaurant business to be successful, it must be built on repeat customers or basically an extended family.” He and his staff know many customers by name and during these trying times customers would reach out via phone and text and have continued to be regulars by ordering takeout frequently. Sean was also very fortunate to keep his staff working through the downturn, which he notes, “has made ramping back up much easier.”
Flowing with change has also been one of the keys to the success of Beef O'Brady's over that last 14 years. The ability to be flexible and creative over the last 5 months has been magnified with the challenges of COVID. Forced closures, CDC guidelines, limited or nonexistent food
products, rising prices, and limited supplies are just a few of the items that Sean has approached confidently and collectedly. He was the first to offer expanded outdoor seating in Cocoa and was instrumental in helping to set the standard for the COVID Outdoor Dining Code
implemented by the City. The restaurant is open from 11 AM to 9 PM every day and the staff prepare 40 to 50% of the meals for takeout orders, which is well beyond the norm prior to COVID changes. He also capitalized on the limited indoor customer base by using the time to make upgrades to the bar top, flooring and kitchen equipment.
You can hear the pride in Sean's voice as he discusses his biggest key to success. His list is long and varied as he names the organizations that have received his charitable acts. Cocoa High School; the three Cocoa Fire Departments and a few more in Brevard County; liittle league; the 911 Center at the Sheriff's Department; doctors' offices; soccer, basketball, wrestling, track, and football teams; Saturn Elementary; and many more. He expressed, “Supporting the greater community through philanthropic activities and adopting strong bonds change over the years. You have to support the people who support you.”
Head out to Cocoa Commons to support Beef O' Brady's because the odds are good that you will be a repeat customer who will be supported by 'good food and good sports' and inevitably the goodwill of the restaurant. One of Beef O'Brady's slogans is “Every Neighborhood
Should Have One” and Cocoa is lucky to be one of those neighborhoods! Beef O' Brady's take out number is 321-637-1133 or order online at the Beef O'Brady's website and indoor seating is available too.
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 Sharonsbarversho@bellsouth.com.


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.