Owning your own business takes hard work, long hours, passion, and dedication!
Every day we encourage you to show your support to our locally-owned, small businesses that make Downtown West Palm Beach so diverse, but on Friday, March 29th we ask that you give a little extra.
Spread the love using #DowntownWPB #MomPopBusinessOwnersDay
Beyond the economic benefits, locally owned businesses add value that can’t easily be measured: they create vibrancy and originality that’s often missing from today’s typical shopping experience. Downtown West Palm Beach offers a wide spectrum of these businesses, from a family-owned Irish pub, a pizza joint that attracts patrons from 50 miles away, and a multi-generational jewelry shop, among others.
Here are some of the stories behind the success:
Leila Restaurant – 120 S. Dixie Hwy.
It was a mother’s soulful home cooking that led to the 2003 opening of Leila. This popular Syrian-Lebanese restaurant is run by Akram Alex Awad and his wife Mireille, who serves as head chef. While Akram runs the front of the house, Mireille is busy in the kitchen recreating classic family recipes like hummus, tabouleh, falafel, kibbeh nayyeh, muhammara, burak and yulanji.
Lynora’s West Palm Beach – 207 Clematis St.
This beloved Italian restaurant got its start when owners Raffaele and Maria Abbenante emigrated from the tiny Italian island of Ponza to South Florida in 1974 and began selling pizza by the slice in Lake Worth. Raffaele’s front-of-house charm and Maria’s traditional family recipes were the winning combination that turned this mom-and-pop pizza place into three successful, full-service restaurants, including the one on Clematis St., and two more scheduled to open on the horizon. Now managed by her son Angelo, Maria is still in the kitchen each week preparing her prized family recipes.
Nash Jewelry Company – 120 S. Olive Ave.
Greg Nash and his wife, MaryAnn, have worked side-by-side for nearly 30 years, after taking over the family business that was started 30 years earlier in 1955. The origin of the family jewelry business goes back 120 years to Greg’s Ukrainian great grandparents. His great-grandfather, a jewelry store owner, was killed in the Bolshevik War and his great-grandmother then escaped to Israel with her two sons and all the diamonds she could sew into the lining of her clothes. Many years later, Greg’s grandfather, Robert Nachshen, came to America to open his own jewelry company – under his Americanized last name Nash. The jewelry business continued to pass through the generations, with Greg’s father, Murray, ultimately opening the location in the Guaranty building in 1955.
O’Shea’s Irish Pub – 531 Clematis St.
Owner Maurice Costigan is originally from Cork, Ireland, and came to America in 1990. Some years later, he found love at an Irish bar in Boca and decided to open his own home-away-from-home with wife Rachel. O’Shea’s has now been a staple of the Downtown scene for 20 years, providing Irish-American fare, a festive bar with live music, and large-scale community events, like its famous (or infamous) St. Patrick’s Day celebration.
Pizza Girls – 114 S. Clematis St.
Partners in life, love and a popular pizza business, Jennifer Morales and Phoebe Reckseit are the owners behind Pizza Girls in West Palm Beach and now Palm Beach Gardens. With a motivation “to bring girl power to a traditional male business,” this mom-and-mom business started making pizza in Downtown West Palm Beach back in 1996 and the rest, as they say, is “herstory.”
Ristorante Santucci – 610 Clematis St.
Serving authentic Sicilian dishes, Ristorante Santucci is a family-run restaurant that includes owner/chef Emilio and wife Anna-Maria Santucci, son Eugenio (head chef) and daughter Selena (restaurant manager).The patriarch of the food-loving Santucci family grew up in Sicily and developed a taste for cuisine from every Italian region before settling in Palm Beach County in 2014, where he’s been baking fresh bread, making pasta from scratch, and creating delicious dishes and desserts with his family ever since.