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Work on the Elliano's in Live Oak continues as it readies for opening this summer.

LIVE OAK — It’s something Katee Robey has been envisioning for more than a decade.

And now, her own Elliano’s franchise in Live Oak is taking form and just a few months away from opening.

“Ten years ago, I actually told my old boyfriend that I was going to open an Elliano’s here,” Robey said. “It only took me 10 years, or close to 11, but it’s a dream come true.”

For good reason.

While it’s been a dream to own her own coffee shop here for a decade, there’s been another long wait.

After obtaining the franchise rights to Elliano’s in Suwannee County, Robey Investments was approved for a business start-up grant at a March 2019 meeting of the Live Oak Community Redevelopment Agency.

However, the plan to bring the coffee shop to the Live Oak Center (Save-a-Lot) parking lot meant the entire shopping plaza parking lot had to undergo upgrades as well to meet code regulations.

“That kind of threw a wrench into our plans,” Robey said.

But that wrench has been dodged now and the coffee shop is well under construction.

And that means she is that much closer to realizing her dream, one that should come to fruition by mid to late summer. It also will lead to the hiring of 10-12 baristas earlier in the summer.

Other projects progressing too

In addition to the work on the Elliano’s building, work continues to be made at Live Oak Commons, the old Pic N’ Save building on U.S. Hwy. 129 N.

The building is the future home of the Live Oak Post Office with the U.S. Postal Service hoping to move by the middle of this year.

The USPS is leasing 12,318 square feet of the building, leaving plenty of room for other businesses to operate in the building.

Further north, construction on new buildings for Publix and Ag-Pro on 72nd Trace is well underway as well.

Jamie Wachter is the editor of the Suwannee Democrat, Jasper News and Mayo Free Press.

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