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Jax Daily Record Tuesday, Sep. 25, 200112:00 PM EST

New gift shop opens

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by: Glenn Tschimpke

Park View Gifts opened Monday, giving downtown workers a new spot to shop for birthday cards, balloons, artwork and other small gifts. Located on Laura Street near Hemming Plaza, owner Rick Bullard offers quick stop gift shopping for people downtown.

“People get tired of walking to the Landing,” said owner Rick Bullard. “I think we need more things downtown so people don’t have to worry about getting a gift before they go home. They can just get it here.”

Bullard conducted an extensive review of available downtown properties before deciding on 225 N. Laura St. Close to City Hall, the new U.S. Courthouse and the new downtown library. He thinks Park View Gifts is in a strategic location.

“We looked on Ocean Street next to Larry’s Giant Subs, but there wasn’t a lot of traffic there,” he explained. “There is more traffic here.”

Bullard worked as the general manager for Super 8 Motels until his location was sold in November 2000. He went to work for Super 8’s corporate parent, Cendant Corporation, briefly as a quality assurance inspector, which required extensive travel.

“I made it to Detroit. I got snowed in and they lost my luggage,” he said. “That was it for me.”

Bullard struck out on his own, opening Rick’s Thrift Shop on Cassat Avenue in December 2000. If business goes well, Bullard plans to expand to St. Augustine.

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