October 3, 2023
ATS NE Sept 2022
Amelia Island Microgreens was founded by Connor Hiebel, 17, in 2020.

Photo: Corey Perrine/USA Today Network

ATS NE Sept 2022
Jim McCarthy has resigned from North Florida Land Trust after serving as the organization's president for eight years.

Photo: North Florida Land Trust

ATS NE Sept 2022
The University of North Florida Archaeology Lab has unveiled a lost Indigenous town thought to be the native Mocama Village of Sarabay, located at Big Talbot Island State Park in Jacksonville.

Photo: UNF Archaeology Lab

Northeast Florida Roundup

Lifelong medical challenges inspire growth of Amelia Island Microgreens

Vanessa Caceres | 9/13/2022


Micro Idea

Connor Hiebel, 17, of Fernandina Beach, combines his business acumen with a commitment to healthy eating through his business Amelia Island Microgreens, which started in 2020.

Microgreens are nutrition-packed seedlings of vegetables and herbs that typically grow within a week to 10 days. They can be eaten on their own or added to salads, smoothies and other foods.

The Hiebel family had already harvested microgreens for several years to help manage Hiebel’s lifelong medical challenges through healthier eating. Hiebel decided to venture into microgreen kits that consumers could grow.

Amelia Island Microgreens sells microgreen kits both online and at a few local businesses and farmers markets. A major component of the business is education: Hiebel teaches others what microgreens are and how to grow them.

Amelia Island Microgreens sales increased 50% from 2020 to 2021 and are expected to double in 2022.


  • Ascension St. Vincent’s Southside Hospital in Jacksonville has opened a $15-million, 15,000-sq.-ft., 22-bed in-patient rehabilitation unit.
  • Flagler Health+ has opened Flagler Health+ CAIR Center in St. Augustine, geared toward helping patients with urgent mental health needs. CAIR is short for Crisis Assessment Intervention and Referral.
  • Denyse Bales-Chubb is the new president and CEO for AdventHealth Palm Coast. She also will be the market CEO for AdventHealth’s Flagler and St. Johns market. AdventHealth has a second hospital under construction in Palm Coast, called AdventHealth Palm Coast Parkway, that is slated to open in spring 2023.
  • The Cure HHT Foundation has designated UF Health a Center of Excellence for hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia, a rare condition involving vessels that connect veins and arteries to develop abnormally. UF Health is one of 31 centers in North America with this designation.


  • CSI Cos. and the University of North Florida have signed a $2.1-million deal over seven years that will include naming rights to the UNF Arena and renovations to the arena as well as professional development programs for students. It is the school’s largest corporate partnership to date.


  • Florida Blue has teamed up with Orlando-based Magic Gaming to create Magic Gaming Esports Academy, a program focused on careers in e-sports. The two are also partnering with Orange County Public Schools to share information about the academy and e-sports career possibilities. The Orlando Magic own Magic Gaming.
  • Miller Electric has signed a naming rights agreement that will last for 10 years for the sports performance center under construction by the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Miller Electric Center will cost an estimated $120 million to build and serve as the football team’s hub for staff and operations.


  • Allegis Group, a global staffing solutions firm in Hanover, Md., is expanding to Jacksonville and adding 500 jobs as part of a collaboration among the company, the city of Jacksonville and the JaxUSA Partnership. Allegis has more than 500 locations globally and $14.5 billion in revenue.


  • Treace Medical Concepts is moving its headquarters from Ponte Vedra Beach to Nocatee, located just a few miles away.


  • The Local-St. Augustine, a renovated roadside motel that reopened last October with modern-day touches, has been named the Best Roadside Motel in America in USA Today’s 10 Best Readers’ Choice travel award contest.
  • The Jacksonville Beach Pier has reopened. The pier closed three years ago after sustaining hurricane damage. It has undergone an $11.6-million renovation.
  • Blackstone Grille at the Shops of Bartram Walk in Jacksonville has closed after a 15-year run.


  • Gracie Simendinger is the new CEO for Leadership Jacksonville. She was formerly the director of development at the Beaches Emergency Assistance Ministry. She succeeds Jill Langford Dame, who retired earlier this year.
  • Melanie Saxon is the new executive director of Community Health Outreach, which provides free medical and dental care to low-income, uninsured residents of Duval County.
  • Rev. Les Singleton, leader of the Episcopal Church of the Mediator in Micanopy for almost 40 years, died at age 80. Singleton was well known in Alachua County for the promotion of religious tolerance.


  • JaxPort has completed the final phase of $100 million in berth enhancements at SSA Jacksonville Container Terminal at Blount Island. The terminal now has a 47-foot channel depth with 2,400 linear feet of newly rebuilt berthing space that can accommodate two post-Panamax container ships at once.
  • Gainesville Regional Airport is set to receive $1.67 million from the federal government’s Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The funds will help cover renovations to its multi-modal ground transportation facility and terminal facilities.
  • CSX has completed its acquisition of the North Billerica, Mass.-based Pan Am Railways.
  • Americraft Marine has acquired Palatka-based St. Johns Ship Building. Americraft is a maritime subsidiary of the Libra Group.

Tags: Northeast, Healthcare, Startups

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