Businesses in Live Oak moving forward in spite of pandemic

Construction for Ellianos in Live Oak located in Save A Lot parking lot.
-SVT Photo by Tami Stevenson

By Tami Stevenson

Stocks surged the day after Memorial Day as economic recovery excitement seemed to outweigh COVID-19 concerns as the virus winds down and businesses are opening up their doors and experiencing the “new normal”. It is reported that the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average all climbed along with a strong rise in global markets as more nations move to open their economies.

Even rural communities are climbing on the train of economic recovery in North Florida. Live Oak is one of them. The 45,000 square foot new Publix that is under construction on 72nd Trace near the I-10/Hwy 129 interchange is in full swing.

The 45,000 square foot new Publix that is under construction on 72nd Trace near the I-10/Hwy 129 interchange is in full swing. -SVT Photo by Tami Stevenson


The new Ag-Pro (John Deere Dealership) next to Big Wood BBQ & Grill, also along 72nd Trace, is nearly finished.

Ag Pro building along 72nd Trace pretty much complete.
-SVT Photo by Tami Stevenson

Many residents are very excited for the new location of the Live Oak Post Office to be completed at Live Oak Commons, located along Highway 129, across from Jordan Insurance (old Pic N’ Save building). USPS leased over 12,300 square feet of the building. Developers hope to attract other businesses there as more space is available.

Parking has always been an issue at its current location and many struggle climbing the steps to get into the building. The new location will have increased parking and no steps to climb.


Live Oak Commons, future home of Live Oak’s new Post Office.
-SVT Photo by Tami Stevenson


Another addition to Live Oak that residents are looking forward to is Ellianos Coffee Company. Construction is underway on the south end of town on Highway 129 (Ohio Avenue) at the Live Oak Center (Save A Lot) parking lot.

Owner Katee Robey told the Suwannee Valley Times, Tuesday, they are hoping to be open before the end of summer or sooner, depending on the overwhelming number of regulations and requirements from the city. Robey says although meeting all the codes and regulations has been tough, especially the parking lot upgrades, city officials have been easy to work with and are doing everything they can to help her get the coffee company up and running.

Robey Investments was approved for a business start-up grant in March of 2019 by the Live Oak Community Redevelopment Agency.

She is a former employee of Ellianos and said ever since she worked there she has wanted one of her own.

“I have to give credit to God, because I would not be here (if it weren’t for Him).” Robey said. She is so excited to finally be opening her very own Ellianos after almost eleven years of saving money, planning and hard work, it is finally coming into fruition. “It’s scary, but it’s okay. It’s in a good way.”

The Lake City native said she plans to be in the store working with her team everyday and getting to know the customers while maintaining the best quality service to the community.
Keeping with the true entrepreneurship of her positive outlook and personality, along with her commitment to hard work, she has started three other businesses from scratch that were all successful. She was able to sell two of them and still owns and operates Line Liam, a successful t-shirt design company she started in 2015.

As Florida and the nation look at beginning phase 3 of the pandemic guidelines, residents and businesses are looking forward to the next few months and beyond.