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Despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, businesses around West Volusia have been busy expanding, relocating and adapting their enterprises to fit the new reality around them.

In one instance, Anointed Olive, an olive oil and balsamic vinegar tasting store, recently moved into a new space in Downtown DeLand.

ANOINTED OLIVE Anointed Olive owner Wendy LaRocca, center, gathers with a group, including DeLand Area Chamber of Commerce staff and Mayor Bob Apgar, to her left, to cut the ribbon on her business’s new location. Larocca describes her business as an “interactive olive oil and balsamic vinegar tasting store.”

In September, the store moved from its previous location, 247 N. Woodland Blvd., to its new location, 118 N. Woodland Blvd., formerly the home of Becker’s Best Shoes.

Owner Wendy LaRocca said she went in one day to pick up a pair of shoes, when Becker’s owner, Amy Becker, told her they were planning to leave their space.

“I had been having water problems at the other space, so we had just barely been talking about the possibility of a move when the offer of this space came up,” LaRocca said. “It wasn’t a pre-planned thing.”

Despite the pandemic causing some businesses to falter, she said The Anointed Olive’s move from one end of Downtown DeLand to the other has more than doubled their business.

“We only moved three blocks, but we get at least three times the foot traffic we did down there,” LaRocca said. “All in all, I would say it was an amazing move for us. We’ve truly been blessed.”

The owner of Allstar Nutrition, formerly located in Orange City but now based in a new DeBary location, also said the store’s move had positive effects.

ALLSTAR NUTRITION — Allstar Nutrition owner Karen Umstattd, left, celebrates her business’s new location with Linda Knox. Umstattd recently had to move her business, Allstar Nutrition, from its location in Orange City, to a new one, 42 N. Charles Richard Beall Blvd. in DeBary. 

Owner Karen Umstattd said the previous location was not working out, and pandemic or not, they had to move.

“We had no other way to go but up,” Umstattd said. “I was struggling.” Since moving, she said business has improved for her protein and energy drink bar. “The location itself has been very positive for us. We stay pretty busy.”

The story was similar for Katy Ray, a licensed massage therapist. Her business is now co-located with two other massage therapists in DeLand.

KATY RAY, LICENSED MASSAGE THERAPIST Licensed Massage Therapist Katy Ray, center, cuts the ribbon to celebrate the opening of her new massage practice. Ray’s spot was shut down for two months, and the lack of business was difficult. When the opportunity to move into a new location with two other massage therapists arose, she jumped on it. “I thought ‘we have to pay rent somewhere, better to not let this opportunity pass us by,’” Ray said. The opportunity was thanks to several massage therapists retiring from their practices, leaving a slot open for Ray. Since moving to her new location, 929 N. Spring Garden Ave. in DeLand, she said her business has improved greatly.

Since moving to her new location, 929 N. Spring Garden Ave. in DeLand, she said her business has improved greatly. Ray attributed some of that to massage therapy itself.

“A lot of people were in pain or in need and excited to get some relief,” she said. “Everyone’s stressed out, dealing with a lot. It’s a good way to release stress.”

The opening of Pure Alignment Chiropractic was delayed for a few months due to the pandemic, but owner Dr. Kat Burtis said business has been booming since opening in a Victoria Park location.

PURE ALIGNMENT CHIROPRACTIC — Pure Alignment Chiropractic owner Dr. Kat Burtis, center, holds the scissors for her new practice’s location. The group at the ribbon-cutting included her husband, Pete Burtis, to her left, and DeLand Area Chamber of Commerce Board President Lita Kapuscinski, on her right, helping her hold the scissors. Kat Burtis said her original plan was to open her chiropractic practice, Pure Alignment Chiropractic, back in June, but the pesky novel coronavirus got in the way. The practice, located at 121 Victoria Commons Blvd. in DeLand, opened Oct. 12, and Kat Burtis said business has been great.

“When we first opened, we had 130 new patients on the books,” she said. “We’re booked through Thanksgiving right now.”

Burtis, a second-generation chiropractor, said the chiropractic technique she practices is called “torque release technique.”

This method, Burtis said, relies on gentler motions that focus on the nervous system.

“We love the DeLand community,” she added. “We’re happy to take care of people that really need it right now.”

The business formerly known as Ryan Insurance & Financial recently rebranded to Guided Insurance Solutions, as well. Director of Operations Jennifer Hightower said the rebrand has gone along with the larger trend of providing more services virtually, rather than in person.

GUIDED INSURANCE SOLUTIONS Guided Insurance Solutions Director of Operations Jennifer Hightower cuts the ribbon to the rebranded insurance agency with Mayor Bob Apgar, left, and a group of Guided staff and DeLand Area Chamber of Commerce staff. Formerly known as Ryan Insurance & Financial, Guided Insurance Solutions rebranded in May. Hightower said the May rebrand was scheduled before the COVID-19 pandemic, but they have fared well. She said their focus since the rebrand has been on “being inspired by technology and guided by experts.”

“More than ever, with our team going virtual, and that physical interaction being limited, we thought it spoke to the opportunity to use the virtual technology,” she said.

With everyone adjusting to online alternatives to typically in-person ventures, Hightower said they have tried to be flexible with their clients.

“We can still serve them virtually in the way they are normally used to seeing physically,” she said. “I think the key is we have had to adapt, but we’ve been able to do that very successfully.”

SEPULVEDA HAIR STUDIO — Sepulveda owner David Sepulveda, center, prepares to cut the ribbon to the new Sepulveda Hair Studio location with staff. Previously located on Indiana Avenue in DeLand, the studio moved to its new location, 305 E. International Speedway Blvd., due to the COVID-19 shutdown. Receptionist Miranda Krasniqi said she prefers the new location — there’s more parking spaces, and foot traffic has increased. “We’ve been very fortunate,” she said. “We’re pretty busy. I mean honestly, I feel like we’ve been faring okay.”


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