REBECCA AND GREG SNOW, THE LITTLE MUSTARD SEED
By Sharon Michalik Photography by Michael Booini
You’d think Greg and Rebecca Snow have been married for decades and in business for years as they begin and finish each other’s sentences while standing at the cash register of The Little Mustard Seed, their store in the heart of historic Downtown Panama City. With 15,000 square foot, the building offers ample room for an eclectic selection of handmade furniture and decorative items. Panama City locals will recognize the building as the former JC Penney store but it has also been home to a series of antique and arts and crafts businesses over the years. The (not so) Little Mustard Seed is buzzing and is well on its way to becoming one of Downtown Panama City’s favorite shopping destinations. While business is booming, and the shop appears to be well established, in reality, Rebecca and Greg’s journey from the first date to becoming business partners occurred in less time than it takes most people to get a business degree.
“We got a call from the former owner of this business on Tuesday, we met him on that Friday and by that weekend we were going into business together. This was a real leap of faith.”
We got a call from the former owner of this business on Tuesday, we met him on that Friday and by that weekend Greg and I were going into business together. This was a real leap of faith. Greg: So we know we are where God wants us to be. Far more quickly than they ever anticipated, the Snows bought out the previous owner, signed a lease agreement for the building (which they are now purchasing) and set about building a name for The Little Mustard Seed.
Do you have clearly defined business roles?
Greg: We have defined roles but it’s fluid. We’re married. (smiles)
Rebecca: Actually, you’re the M & M, the chief of marketing and managing the money.
Greg: I may be the M & M but she’s the heart of this business.
Rebecca: And you need a head and a heart to run a business like this. I’m the one who wants to talk to the people and love on them and help them and he’s the one making sure that everything else is going well. As a previous small business owner, Greg has the business acumen to make sure that the “back of the house” is all going well, according to Rebecca. She, however, is like a kid in a candy store learning something new every day. “I was in the medical field so all of this is new. Running a cash register, working with customers and vendors … he’s teaching me as we go,” she explains.
Where do you see The Little Mustard Seed going?
Both: We want to expand the classes. That’s the heart part. It’s very healing and relaxing and it builds hope in people when they can make something or they find out that something isn’t as difficult to do as they thought it was.
Greg: I want to be a place where all of the artisans of this area can come and sell their creations. Many of those creative people don’t know about building a business and I want to help them, I want to be the person who helps them sell their art and who helps them show it off to other people. Rebecca: We call ourselves conduits. We’re connecting artists and customers. We want to be a light in downtown. We want to be a place where people enjoy shopping and coming together and learning with each other and from each other. As a society, we’ve moved away from that. It feels good for people to use their hands to build things and to learn new things.
In all of this, have you had time to develop any special Valentine’s traditions?
Rebecca: Our lives have changed so much in the past few years; it’s just been a whirlwind. Let’s just go with the corny statement that we try to make every day Valentine’s Day.
Before the words are out of her mouth, however, the phone beeps letting Greg know there’s a delivery ready to go, store doors ready to throw open and another day’s worth of customers to serve. “That’s what we’re really all about,” Rebecca says, “we’re really just here to build relationships and help people.” The Little Mustard Seed is located on 437 Harrison Avenue in Downtown Panama City.
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