April 13, 2024
ATS NE Oct 2023
Veronica Anderson's baking side hustle turned into a brick-and-mortar business in Jacksonville's Northside neighborhood.

Photo: Bob Self/USA Today Network

ATS NE Oct 2023
The Cade Museum for Creativity and Invention has opened an exhibit - Tom Petty: Among the Wildflowers - in honor of the late Gainesville native and rock musician. It will be open through Jan. 1, featuring artifacts previously shown at Clevelands' Rock & roll Hall of Fame. The exhibit focuses on Petty's 19994 album Wildflowers and includes an original guitar and outfit he wore in a related Rolling Stone cover.

Photo: Robert Sebree

ATS NE Oct 2023
In Marion County, 135 acres along the Rainbow River are now permanently protected as part of an agreement with the state of Florida. Earlier this year, the state approved $3 million for a conservation easement that would be part of a state wildlife corridor. Conservation Florida worked with the Gissy family to sell the conservation easement to the state through the Florida Forever program.

Photo: Carlton Ward Jr.

ATS NE Oct 2023
Jacksonville-based Southeastern Grocers, the parent company of Winn-Dixie, Fresco y Mas and Harveys Supermarket, is selling off its stores to ALDI and Fresco Retail Group. Germany-based ALDI, with U.S. corporate headquarters in Illinois, will acquire an estimated 400 Winn-Dixie and Harvey's Supermarket stores.

Photo: Chris Urso/Tampa Bay Times

Northeast Florida Roundup

Rolling in Dough

Vanessa Caceres | 10/19/2023


Veronica Anderson began offering her cookies for sale to colleagues decades ago while working at BellSouth in Jacksonville. As word of the treats spread beyond her workplace, a business was born.

Over the years, she and husband Willis Anderson, a firefighter, were able to use money they made from cookie sales to help put their four children through college. Willis was often called the “Cookie Man” because friends and colleagues knew he’d have cookies to offer.

Their home-baked venture eventually outgrew its base of operations. “I was selling so many cookies from the house, it didn’t make sense to continue there,” Veronica Anderson says.

To build on their parent’s success, the couple’s four adult children — Lamar, Alonza, Monica and Whitney — opened Arble Baking Company (named for the street they grew up on) late last year in Jacksonville’s Northside neighborhood.

Veronica Anderson continues to make the cookie dough, noting that oatmeal nut, classic chocolate chip and ginger molasses are their top sellers. Arble also sells cupcakes.

Although their current storefront location helps fill a niche in a neighborhood that lacks dining options, the siblings would like to broaden the bakery’s reach with a food truck. The family aims to eventually open more storefronts around Jacksonville and the state.


  • CSX has made a $10-million contribution to the University of Florida for its future health and financial technology graduate center in downtown Jacksonville. The investment will be distributed over five years. UF is currently focused on raising funds for project development and potential site selection for the center.
  • Paul Eason was named vice president of strategy and innovation at the University of North Florida. He will oversee UNF’s Strategic Plan, which includes an emphasis on performance- based funding metrics.


  • AdventHealth Palm Coast Parkway has opened with 100 beds in a facility spanning 158,000 square feet. Wally De Aquino is the hospital’s CEO.
  • A University of Florida research team has received a $3.7-million National Institutes of Health grant to study why the HIV/AIDS rate in Florida remains high. Led by Mattia Prosperi of the College of Public Health Professions and Jiang Bian of the College of Medicine, researchers will use the super computer cluster HiPerGator3 at UF to conduct the study. The research is part of a national initiative to examine HIV. In Florida, more than 4,000 people were diagnosed with HIV annually in the past decade; more than 120,000 people in Florida live with HIV. The study will continue through 2027.


  • Four Seasons confirms that it is coming to Jacksonville with 170 suites and rooms as well as 26 private residences in a development collaboration with Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shahid Khan. Although Four Seasons was already included as part of plans for the Shipyards area development downtown, the hotel had not formally confirmed its plans. It’s slated to open in 2026.


  • Saint-Gobain North America will invest $235 million over the next two years to grow its CertainTeed gypsum manufacturing facility in Palatka. The expansion will create more than 100 jobs and double the existing plant’s production capacity. The state, Career Source Florida, Putnam County and other entities have kicked in a total of $7 million in cash benefits and high-impact investment tax credits to support the expansion.


  • Angel Carro was promoted from COO to president and CEO of the Early Learning Coalition of Duval, Jacksonville’s largest nonprofit organization. He succeeds Denise Marzullo, who moved to South Florida. Bruce Fafard, CEO of the Museum of Science & History, will retire in February after serving in the position since October 2020. A national search is underway for a new CEO. MOSH also announced that it has received a $1-million donation from the Harden Family Foundation for the museum’s Genesis capital campaign.


  • Vobile, a software company specializing in digital content recognition and protection, will establish a 10,000-sq.-ft. research development and operations center in Alachua’s San Felasco Tech City.


  • Silver Airways has added a nonstop daily route between Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and Gainesville Regional Airport.

Tags: Northeast, Business Services, Feature, Startups

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