Orlando's Milk District offering pop up shop for aspiring entrepreneurs

The Milk District in Orlando is offering entrepreneurs the chance to open a temporary brick-and-mortar store without the huge overhead cost.

The Milk District Executive Director Zac Alfson said "The Spot," located at 2430 E. Robinson Street, is a new space where business owners can rent space for a reasonable price and sell their products.

Alfson said it’s a way for entrepreneurs to test their merchandise before taking the huge financial risk of opening a physical store. 

"It’s a low-risk way people can come in, figure out everything they need from staffing to merchandising before they make that leap for themselves."

People can rent a section of the space for as little as $50 per day, or the entire store for a few days or a few months.

Ojas Akolkar, the owner of TribalFare, was the first entrepreneur to rent the space during The Spot’s grand opening on July 15. She said her one-of-a-kind clothing and jewelry business got a lot of exposure over five days.

"I was really interested in seeing, [what the market is] telling me about my product. Is there a demographic for my product, all that kind of research that goes with retail," Akolkar said. She said spaces like this mean a lot to small business owners.

"Everybody’s doing their own creative process in terms of launching the store or their concept but then having a space like this actually helps them validate their concept."

Akolkar said she opened a brick-and-mortar store in Michigan just before the Coronavirus pandemic but was forced to close its doors months later. She then moved to central Florida.

"I’m so new here to central Florida. I didn’t have a following for my business… If you’re not from here, you don’t know the demographics, you don’t know the market. So for me, that was valuable to kind of partner up with The Milk District."

Alfson said The Milk District started the three-year pilot program to bring in local businesses and help them be successful. He said lookout for more pop-up stores soon.

"We’ve gotten interest from everyone from florists to plant sellers, to leather workers and beard care," Alfson said.

Starting July 27, The Spot will work with Milk Mart to host Milk Mart Minis Days over the next couple of months.  Every day, The Spot will host five different vendors in a small, pop-up market.

For more information about The Milk District and to learn more about renting space at "The Spot" visit The Milk District website.