What do coffee, doughnuts, tacos, computers, and marketing all have in common?
To most people, none of these things seem remotely similar; but to an entrepreneur like Isaac Alexander, they are all products with selling potential in Frostproof.
A good salesman is able to sell anything and everything, and he is also able to see needs to be filled.
Alexander has identified many needs within Frostproof, from copying and printing, to coffee and doughnuts; and with his rich business background, he has the potential to fill each of them by selling those products.
Having moved to Frostproof last year, he fell in love with the downtown area, where he decided to invest his times and resources by opening four businesses — three in one building on East Wall Street, and one along Scenic Highway.
The old building on East Wall Street was originally Spurlow’s Outdoor.
One business, Frostproof Coffee and Doughnuts, will sell coffee and doughnuts as they used to be made long ago.
The coffee will be an old-fashioned home brew blended for Frostproof, having been specially selected and taste-tested by members of the Ramon Theater and Chamber of Commerce, and the doughnuts, being organic, will be both healthy and delicious.
The second business will offer computer repair, network administration, computer training, virus removal, and PC sales and installation.
The third business will provide high-quality marketing and design as can be expected from big cities but with small town flair.
“A lot of that has been out of reach for the people of Frostproof because it can be really pricey,” Alexander said. “But since I am there providing my services at very, very competitive rates, that will ensure that people can afford it.”
Alexander has already provided his marketing insights for local businesses such as O’Hara Restorations, Roscoe’s, Citrus Café & Pizzeria, and P&J Recreation, and events such as the Orange Blossom Festival.
When his firm finally opens, hopefully May 20 or so, he expects his much-needed low rates and high-quality marketing to attract business from surrounding small communities such as Avon Park, Babson Park, and Lake Wales.
His final business will be a Mexican restaurant located in the old Maryland Fried Chicken building along Scenic Highway.
Having had prior experience in operating a similar business in New Orleans, Alexander plans on selling tacos made from deep-fried taco corn shells served with a three-cheese blend and traditionally prepared meat and beans cooked with the time and care unique from similar restaurants.
Born and raised in Fort Lauderdale, Alexander always had the entrepreneurial spirit within him. Upon graduating from high school in 1999, he went on to receive his associate’s degree from Broward College in Davie. Currently, he is working on his bachelor’s degree in philosophy.
The simple appeal of rural life drew his family to Frostproof, where his parents have chosen to grow quinoa.
He has since become heavily involved in the community. To date, he has been voted on for the Board of Directors for the Chamber of Commerce and was inducted into the Frostproof Rotary Club. His marketing skills have been applied to the agriculture department of Frostproof High School and with organizing the Orange Blossom Festival.
Alexander loves to indulge himself in the marketing world. For him, selling a product, whether it was developed by himself or by someone else, is pure euphoria.
“I think there is something about creating a good product, and when you see the expression on your customer’s face … that is really gratifying for me,” he said.
His entrepreneurship across the county has garnered him many friends and acquaintances. Many of them will join him in Frostproof, with 11 family members and friends in total, to help with his endeavors.
The challenge with these four businesses has been with the time and effort required to start them.
“I am hoping that the people will embrace these businesses the same way that I have embraced the town,” he said.
For him, business is not as much a money-making endeavor as it is an artistic one.
Success for him is providing a high-quality product to consumers and seeing the satisfaction it offers them. It is how much his business benefits the community and supports those within it. It is the relationships fostered by working with others and offering them a good or service.
“I really think that your success is better gauged by how much your community enjoys your product, and how much you actually become part of a community,” he said. “You can chase the almighty dollar, but when you place your head on the pillow every night, and all you have chased is the dollar, and you have not made any relationships with the people around you, then what have you really accomplished?”