WESLEY CHAPEL, Fla — Converted shipping containers are now home to several mom-and-pop restaurants and retail shops in Wesley Chapel. It’s a newer concept now open in the Tampa Bay area.
At Krate Container Park there are nearly 50 businesses, most of which were opened by first-time business owners, housed within 94 shipping containers.
“I came to this country for a reason and finally after 15, yeah almost 15 years I finally found my dream. My dream job, my dream business," Heidi Esquivel, owner of Yummy Tablas, said.
Esquivel said she jumped at the opportunity to open up a business for a price she said is obtainable.
“The rent was so affordable so I decided like, this is it. This is my place. This is where I’m going to start my business," Esquivel added.
Starting rent for one of the containers is $1,500. They’re anywhere from 300-900 sq. ft. which is just enough for first-time business owners like Esquivel and Nickole Davis.
"I opened on February 14, 2022, so Valentine’s Day, just a couple months ago," Davis said.
Davis took a shot and opened up All Things Good Gifts.
“I was kind of afraid at first if I’d be able to make it and being able to like pay the rent. I didn’t really know or have much experience of like having a gift shop or what would be sold," Davis added.
Fear turned into success as Davis said she hit her goal of $10,000 the first month of being open.
“That’s my biggest goal yet is to be able to be like first time financially independent. To be able to finally be able to afford like everything on my own. Be able to pay the mortgage, pay the car payment everything that like I would be able to do without any help," Davis explained.
Families and their pups showed up to support the grand opening.
“Anytime that you’re able to support a small business and that they can open up in a more reasonable way it’s a good option for the community," Candice Maxim, one local customer, said.
It's an opportunity some first-time business owners said they’ve always worked for.
“It’s a great opportunity for people like me. For dreamers like me," Esquivel added.
There are a total of 46 businesses in Krate Container Park; 17 are retail shops and 29 are restaurants.