JAX Cooking Studio owner selling her business and retiring

Terri Davlantes started the school in 2018 and now wants to spend time with her six young grandchildren.

  • By Dan Macdonald
  • | 6:24 p.m. January 23, 2024
  • | 4 Free Articles Remaining!
Terri Davlantes inside JAX Cooking Studio at 14035 Beach Blvd. She was named a Jacksonville Daily Record Top Entrepreneur in 2023.
Terri Davlantes inside JAX Cooking Studio at 14035 Beach Blvd. She was named a Jacksonville Daily Record Top Entrepreneur in 2023.
Photo by Dede Smith
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The timing is right for Terri Davlantes to turn off the ovens at JAX Cooking Studio for her last time and hand the oven mitts to someone new.

Davlantes announced Jan. 23 that she is selling her business and retiring. She has six grandchildren, ages 5 months to 5 years, and her children all live outside of Jacksonville. 

She and her recently retired husband, Tim, plan to spend the next 10 years or so traveling to see the grandchildren and a bit of the world.

Shelbi MacDonald purchased the business that sold Jan. 23. Davlantes did not disclose the sales price.

Davlantes opened her business at 14035 Atlantic Blvd. in 2018. It specializes in group cooking classes that are a mix of learning and socializing.

Terri Davlantes, the founder of JAX Cooking Studio, and her husband, Tim. JAX Cooking Studio posted this photo on Facebook with the message: "After much consideration, I have decided to sell JAX Cooking Studio to retire and spend more time with my husband, children, and grandchildren. It has been an absolute pleasure serving you and being a part of your culinary adventures."

She is not a trained culinary professional. She started her career as a nurse and later became a lawyer. 

Davlantes was a stay-at-home mom when her four children were young. She later became a college professor and administrator at Florida Coastal School of Law and an administrator at Jacksonville University.

At JAX Cooking Studio, she serves as administrator for her staff of eight chefs who teach and 18 others who assist, wash dishes and do office work. 

As a 2023 Jacksonville Daily Record Top Entrepreneur, Davlantes said revenue was $1.1 million in 2022.

Another reason for selling is that now is the time to begin franchising the store. However, at 65, she is not prepared to take on that challenge.

“If I had started the business 10 years earlier, I would have been the one to expand it. I started this business late in life. I was 59. If I were 45 when I started it, and that is about the age of the purchasers, I would have expanded it,” she said.

Many customers assume that JAX Cooking Studio is a franchise.

“We get asked all the time if it’s a franchise and if we will open locations in Savannah and Daytona,” she said.

“People that come from out of town to visit us will say they don’t have anything like this. So it’s been gratifying to hear that. I’ve met some really cool people.”

Davlantes said the new owner shares her enthusiasm about franchising the concept.

Retirement plans began in September by listing the business with a broker. She had two inquiries on the first day, including one from the eventual buyer. 

The business drew inquiries from several others for days and weeks after it was listed.

The sale involved taking inventory of equipment and supplies as well as figuring out how much the successful business was worth. She sold the company website, customer database and the recipes.

She said the process was quite stressful.

“It was just a lot and I’m looking forward to sleeping for a while after today,” Davlantes said.

A new lease has been signed by the buyer so the business will remain in its current location.

Davlantes expects to stay on for another three weeks to familiarize the ownership with the details of running the business.

She knows she will miss it when the training period ends.

“People come to the cooking studio to have fun and maybe learn a few culinary skills. It’s a fun way to share some time with family and friends or on a date. It’s just a fun activity,” she said.

“I will miss that part – seeing people and interacting with them. I’ll have to find another way to interact and get my kicks.”



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