A Largo business owner has a plan to divest himself of his current business in a unusual way: He wants to give it away via an essay contest.

  • Owner Allan Bednar ready to move on from Simply Hydroponics and Organics
  • Bednar got idea from New England Bed and Breakfast
  • Contest info and entry form: http://www.simplyhydro.com

At Simply Hydroponics and Organics, the motto is, “We sell green thumbs.”

But when owner Allan Bednar decided to move on from the business, he didn’t want to just sell it. That led to his idea for the essay contest.

"It gives us a better opportunity to find the right person vs. just selling it to the person who wants it,” Bednar said. “We have a little more control finding a steward for the business rather than an owner to the business."

Bednar got the idea from a New England bed and breakfast. He is asking for 250-word essays explaining why you want to take over the 25-year-old business.

You have to be at least 18 years old to qualify and pay a $100 entrance fee and $15 processing fee. A panel of three judges will pick a winner.

"They get the building, the property, the social media accounts, the whole nine yards,” Bednar said. “No fine print."

There’s also no limit on how many essays someone can submit.

“One essay isn’t going to cut it for me,” said James Holloman, a disabled Army veteran who lives in Dunedin. Holloman has started a GoFundMe page to raise money for as many submissions as possible. So far, he’s written five.

"To have an opportunity to pop up like this, it’s once in a lifetime. You have to go for it with everything you’ve got,” Holloman said.

The contest runs through March 15, 2018. The shop will pick the top 25 entries, which will then be handed over to the judges.

The winner will have 30 days to claim the business, and Bednar said he will also have a 30-day transition period where he will work at the shop with the new owner. The new owner must also commit to keeping the shop as it is now for at least one year.

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