Sebring has always been known a nice small town community. Then, in the 90's, Lakeshore Mall was introduced, bringing business and new life to the community. Shelby Crossings entered into Sebring in the 2000's, which holds Panera, Starbucks, Marshalls, Ross, Ulta, and Bed Bath & Beyond. Citizens of Highlands County got all the comforts of home along with a big city feel.
Sebring, however, continues to grow. New restaurants and shops seem to pop up constantly! Over the years, several rumors have been spread about different businesses joining our small town community, but none of them ever seem to actually appear.
We recently did a poll and asked members of the community what they would like to see come to Highlands County. We listed five different things, that seem to be popular in today's society including Target, Chick-Fil-A, Cracker Barrel, WaWa, and a Which Wich. The top three were Target, Chick-Fil-A and Cracker Barrel. All three of these chains would do pretty well in Sebring, but some members of the community had furthering opinions on location and price.
Restaurants and shops tend to do better where there is more traffic. Since Highway 27 is an incredibly busy highway, it makes sense for businesses to build their fortune on this Highway. However, if you are a native to Highlands County, you know that some locations are busier than others.
Target is a store people will go out of their way to get too and Chick-Fil-A is the most popular fast food chain in Florida at the moment. However, even the most popular stores and restaurants can sometimes be forgotten, overlooked, or not visited as frequently if they are a little too far out.
Pricing is another contributing factor to what people want to see. Highlands County has two Walmart's, three Publix's, several different gas stations, and yet some establishments don't get the same amount of business. We are a small community, with an even smaller checkbook. Highlands County is one of the lowest paid counties in Florida, making the list of Top 10 Poorest Counties in Florida according to https://www.roadsnacks.net/poorest-places-in-florida/ . So when asking for new and exciting things to come to Highlands County, we have to think. What would prosper as a business, but also allow our citizens to prosper as well?
Target is a wonderful place to shop, but some community members feel its an over priced Walmart and say find that they would rather go into Target to look around, versus actually purchase something. At Target, you are in some ways paying for the atmosphere that you would not get at a Walmart. With that said, it is a widely loved store and received the number one spot on our poll of what people would like to see in Highlands County.
Chick-Fil-A is a fast food chain, that is based around Christianity, and who is known for its slogan “Eat Mor Chiken”. As stated previously, it is the most popular fast food chain in Florida at this current moment. With prices and similar menu options to other fast food chains, this particular restaurant would thrive in Sebring, according to community members. Not to mention the waffle fries are out of this world!
Cracker Barrel is a sit-down type of restaurant with a country, homemade feel and menu. Cracker Barrel has been around since 1969, with its first restaurant opening in Tennessee. Now they have 52 restaurants in Florida alone! However, Sebring is not one of the lucky cities to have been graced with their presence. Many opinions say that Cracker Barrel would do extraordinarily well in Highlands County, no matter the location, since the closest one is closer to Haines City, which is about an hour and twenty minutes away.
No matter the Restaurant or business our community seems to agree they wants good food/products at a good price in a good location. I don't think that should be too much to ask for, do you?
Be sure to leave us a comment telling us what you would like to see come to Highlands County in the future, along with some thoughts on the information provided in this article!
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not reflect the views, policy or position of Sebring.com