What’s Happening Local

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New Owners Spice Up Restaurant, LazyDelivery.com and Warren Buffet company enters Gainesville Real Estate market.

Gainesville’s La Nopalera is under new ownership after a pair of long-time employees purchased the Mexican restaurant. Brothers Jorge and Mario Arce took over in late December after acquiring the business from Jose Valencia, who owns six La Nopaleras in the Jacksonville area.

Jorge Arce said minor changes were made to improve overall quality and consistency, putting it in line with the original La Nopalera where the Arce brothers worked for 14 years. Food is prepared fresh every day and “nothing is canned or frozen,” Arce said.

“Everything is the same as before,” Jorge Arce said. “But we do have a couple of dishes we wanted to introduce to the menu like shrimp cocktail, churrito and ceviche.”

From the bar, customers can enjoy specials “all day, every day” on all drinks as well as 2-for-1 margaritas until 6 p.m. “We have a very extensive variety of tequila, with top-shelf brands like Patron and Cuervo 1800 to order any type of margarita,” Arce said.

While a “good amount” of customers are college students, Arce stresses that La Nopalera is not a “party place,” adding that there is plenty of private seating in a large indoor dining room or on an outdoor patio that overlooks 34th and Archer. Sporting events can be watch on several 52-inch flat screen TVs, both inside and out.

“We’re a family owned business that caters to local families,” Arce said. “We take into consideration all of the values that are important to us when we take our
family to dinner.”

Speaking of catering, La Nopalera offers services for any size group, whether it’s an office luncheon or a birthday party. “The whole menu is available, anything and everything.”

Lazy Shopping

They’re wasting their degrees by saving people trips to the grocery store.

LazyDelivery.com co-founders Marc Charbel and brothers Manuel and Daniel Zelaya are already bagging more than 100 orders per week since launching the delivery service in late 2013. Charbel earned his master’s degree at UF while Manuel Zelaya graduated from Yale, but both have turned down jobs in their fields to grow LazyDelivery.com.

“When I moved here I didn’t have a car,” Charbel said. “So if I wanted groceries I would have to walk or take a bus. That’s where we saw the need for (the company).”

The company targets “students, busy parents and anyone who doesn’t have time to go get groceries,” and has grown to 11 employees, including eight delivery drivers. “Instant delivery” for deliveries within an hour costs $10 for the first 10 items, plus the grocery bill, while deliveries scheduled in advance cost $7 for the first 10 items. Each additional item is 70 cents.

“It’s a different lifestyle, so some people aren’t used to it,” Charbel said. “The service is available in different cities, but we’ve tried to revolutionize the idea by having instant delivery instead of people having to wait a few days (to get orders delivered).”

The company recently launched a new iOS/iPhone app and have plans to add signs to their delivery fleet.

Real Deal

One local real estate agency was affected when Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway took over Prudential on Jan. 30. Berkshire Hathaway Trend Realty present by Thomas McIntosh said the Berkshire brand has been the biggest benefit for his team of 50-plus Realtors “being able to hand out a card with the most admired name, according to Forbes.”

With the Internet changing the way buyers search for homes, McIntosh said another benefit has been to the company’s website.

“Warren Buffet has invested a lot to make sure we have all the new technology at out fingertips,” said McIntosh, who open his first firm in 1988. “We’re kind of overwhelmed with it all right now.”

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