History of local Black business community

History of local Black business community

Black History Month 2021 History of local Black business community Osceola History President Russell Anderson was featured on the Kissimmee-Osceola County Chamber of Commerce‘s 15-Minute Talk on February 17, 2021. Mr. Anderson shared his memories of growing up in Kissimmee and history about the local Black business community.

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Bethel AME history spans more than 130 years in Osceola County

Bethel AME history spans more than 130 years in Osceola County

Black History Month 2021 Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church Founded by Rev. Sam Hadley, Bethel African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) Church was formed on January 14, 1885, two years prior to Osceola becoming a county. Sources differ on where the first church building was erected. One source states the corner of Brack and Walnut Streets while another places it on Palmway and Walnut. A news article […]

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A Sweet Business: Esper Products Deluxe

A Sweet Business: Esper Products Deluxe

Esper Products Deluxe A small jelly factory began in the fall of 1937 at 46 Main Street in Kissimmee, Florida. It produced 15-20 varieties of jams, jellies and marmalades. By 1950 there were 38 varieties of tropical flavors offered and the plant used an average of two tons of sugar per week. Aided by J.B. McCauley, Mrs. Emily Bast, widow of G.Y. Bast Sr. founded […]

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Osceola County plant first to introduce chilled juice in fiber cartons

Osceola County plant first to introduce chilled juice in fiber cartons

Osceola Fruit Distributors George Lester Ivey was born in the Shingle Creek area of Osceola County, Florida, in 1897. He married Hilda Rocker in 1922, and they soon planted citrus trees and acquired several groves.  In 1928 they established Osceola Fruit Distributors and a packing house was built on the northwest corner of Vine and Main Streets in Kissimmee. Their brands were Kissimmee River and Kissimmee […]

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