Daytona Diner; Van Canada; Linda Toffolon; FSBDC; Small Business Development Center

Daytona Diner Enjoying New Found Success in Daytona Beach Shores

Assistance from FSBDC at Daytona State College with Relocation and Financing Made All the Difference

August 22, 2016

Contact: Hal Thayer, Communications Director, FSBDC at UCF, 407.420.4850 or

Orlando, FL – Founded on Beach Street in 1996, the Daytona Diner has grown to be a Daytona Beach institution over the years. Owner Linda Toffolon has worked ceaselessly – 7:00am – 3:00pm six days a week, year after year – to make sure her customers have a choice of the best breakfasts and lunches in town.

But as is often the case with a small business, the voyage hasn’t always been a smooth one and Toffolon has had to navigate challenges of all kinds. Fortunately, she found assistance from the Daytona State College sub-center of the Florida SBDC at UCF when she needed it most.

It was in 2012 that the bad news came. The Harley Davidson dealership in the same building and next to the Diner on Beach Street – a source of many loyal customers over the years — was not renewing its lease and closing its doors, which meant the Daytona Diner was losing its lease and needed to find a new home.

But where could Linda Toffolon turn for help? She needed to find a new location with the right demographics and city services. Economic development incentives and financing arrangements were both going to be key considerations. And Toffolon was intent upon preserving the Daytona Diner’s unique, family-friendly personality and heritage as a memorable Daytona Beach restaurant destination.

It was at the Florida SBDC at Daytona State College where Toffolon found the expert consulting, business training seminars and market research tools she needed to successfully relocate and preserve the Daytona Diner’s special place in the community. Initially, she worked with Ned Harper, the now retired center director, in producing a business plan, creating a site selection plan and connecting with the city to determine what kind of economic development assistance it could provide.

After a number of false starts and failed negotiations, the new location at 2043 South Atlantic Avenue in Daytona Beach Shores was found. Now came the hard part: obtaining financing to make the move. Restaurants have a notoriously difficult time getting loans approved and this situation was going to be no different. That is when Van Canada, a consultant at the FSBDC at Daytona State and a former commercial banker, stepped in to help Linda Toffolon put together a loan application.

Toffolon and Canada partnered to finalize the Daytona Diner business plan, obtain all necessary documents and put all the financial information in order. Soon enough they had a very strong loan package and the hunt for a lender began.

Canada and the FSBDC were able to identify an interested lender and obtain a loan commitment and later the line of credit that was needed. “Looking back, I risked everything to relocate and re-open Daytona Diner,” remarked Ms. Toffolon. “And there was stress beyond measure while it was going on. There were times when it felt like everything was falling apart. But Van Canada and the FSBDC were there for me every time I needed help. Today I am glad I took the risk and that the Daytona Diner remains a part of the Daytona community. But I know for a fact that I couldn’t have done it without the FSBDC at Daytona State.”

“For any business owner out there looking for help with their company, I urge you to talk to the Florida SBDC. They can make what seems impossible possible,” concluded Ms. Toffolon. “They did for me what I couldn’t do for myself and they can do the same for you.”


About the FSBDC at UCF

With its main office in the National Entrepreneur Center located at the Fashion Square Mall in Orlando, the Florida SBDC at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) is part of the UCF Office of Research & Commercialization and the Florida SBDC Network (FSBDC Network). THE FSBDC at UCF provides business seminars and no-cost, one-on-one business consultation to emerging and established businesses. The FSBDC at UCF serves an eight-county area that includes Brevard, Flagler, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Sumter, and Volusia counties and maintains 10 service centers across Central Florida.

About the FSBDC Network

The FSBDC at UCF is a member of the Florida SBDC Network, a statewide service network funded in part through cooperative agreements with the U.S. Small Business Administration, Defense Logistics Agency, State of Florida and other private and public partners. The Florida SBDC Network is hosted by the University of West Florida and is nationally accredited by the Association of SBDCs. All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.

For over 35 years, the FSBDC Network has nourished a statewide partnership between higher education and economic development organizations, dedicated to providing emerging and established business owners with management and technical assistance, enabling overall growth and increased profitability for the businesses and economic prosperity for the state. The FSBDC Network is a statewide service system of 41 centers with 60 outreach locations, including the FSBDC at UCF.

FSBDC at UCF | 3201 E. Colonial Drive | Orlando, FL 32801 | p 407.420.4850 | f 407.420.4862 |