The Delaneys Are The Poster Family for small town businesses. The opening of 3 Sons Cleaners (Front L-R) Steve, Patrick and Michael. (Back Row) Michelle and Bill Delaney (Picture taken over 40 years ago)

Thank you to our Faithful Followers

The South Lake Tablet was purchased One Year Ago This Week!

I didn’t plan to retire from Disney nor buy THE SOUTH LAKE TABLET; it just happened.

I enjoyed the daily trip to and from Celebration; it was my time to wind down. But the constant road construction and traffic on Hwy 27 became increasingly difficult to endure, so after 29 years at Walt Disney World Co., I impulsively retired. However, after only a few days of retirement, I began to question my decision. I was bored or, perhaps, afraid I could become a TV junkie. The SOUTH LAKE TABLET was for sale. Our family owns Buena Vista Publishing, a local publishing company and an ideal fit for THE TABLET. After some discussion, everything just fell into place.

It’s been an amazing year. However, the first few months were difficult. I kept asking myself Why? Why was I putting the family through such stress? I wanted to change things right away. The family kept reminding me that THE TABLET was not the only product they publish and they couldn’t devote 24/7 to The TABLET. Note: Sometimes it’s difficult working with family.

After a year of change, It’s time to celebrate successes!

  • The platform and format have been changed to facilitate easier use.
  • Readership has increased from about 34,000 in 2016 to over 300,000 in 2017.
  • We are in the process of enhancing our advertising presentation.
  • We will be adding new features throughout 2018.
(L-R) Michael, Bill, Patrick and Steve Delaney

Buena Vista Publishing and The South Lake Tablet are not the family’s first ventures. We are the poster children for small business.

Forty-five years ago, my husband Bill and I moved our family from New York City to Clermont to open a Speed Queen laundry and dry cleaner at Clermont’s “then” newest shopping center. We called the business 2 Sons Cleaners, named for my 2 sons Steve, than 5 years old, and Michael who was only 5 months old. The business was later renamed 3 Sons Cleaners when my third son Patrick was born. Clermont had a population of less than 4,000 at that time. There wasn’t a fast food chain, superstore or large business in the area. It was truly a small town.  It was a pleasant culture shock for me, after being born and raised and having worked in New York City.  After seven years, we sold the business which is currently English Cleaners.

Calling Clermont My Hometown: Bill and I became Realtors in the early 1980s. I still have my Real Estate license though haven’t been active. I worked at Clermont Elementary, now Cypress Ridge Elementary; and because of my love for Clermont and understanding of the small business owner, took the role as president of the “Clermont Chamber of Commerce”. Women didn’t take many leadership roles in the early 80s, it was not the norm.

(L-R) Mike, Bill, Michelle, Steve, Patrick Delaney

I was a Sunday school teacher and my husband was a Little League Coach for many, many years.  We were very involved in the community but things changed when thirty years ago, I decided to get a temporary summer job at Disney. I got pixie dusted and stayed for the next 29 years.  Working in another WORLD, placed me out of touch with my community.  My husband opened a publishing company in Orlando.  Neither of us worked in Clermont for years, though we remained active and supportive of our growing community.

Once again, traffic became an issue so my husband decided to move Buena Vista Publishing to South Lake County. The boys (Bill, Steve, Mike and Patrick) decided to purchase a site in Oakland. Through divine intervention, a hurricane blasted through Florida that year and a large oak fell on the building we planned to purchase, destroying it. We found a commercial building only 2 miles from our home.  And for the past 14 years, it has been our base of operations.

Now, only one year after the purchase of the SOUTH LAKE TABLET, I can say I’m happy and fulfilled.  I may at some point re-retire but for now The Tablet has given me an opportunity to, once again, become active in the community, enjoy owning and operating a family-owned business, and spend more time with my three beautiful grandchildren.  Life is good.