By Martie Thompson
Doug Nunnery’s Gator roots run deep — not only did he earn his bachelor’s degree in business administration at the University of Florida, but he grew up in Gainesville. His father was a professor and his mother worked in the athletic department. After graduation, he took a job in Jacksonville with Prudential in its IT department. He ultimately earned his MBA at the University of North Florida while still working full time at Prudential.
He and his wife Ashlen wed on his birthday in 1986. They have two sons, Joel, a project manager for a commercial contractor who just relocated back to North Florida after several years in South Florida, and Alex, who works at Publix.
Up until very recently, Nunnery owned The UPS Store at State Road 13 and Race Track Road.
“I’m very appreciative of the community who supported our business for 18 years and I hope they continue to support the new owners of this location,” he said.
- How did you and your wife meet?
We actually met in a laundromat. I was folding clothes — athletic socks, actually! — and she came in with a friend. We had seen each other there before but never spoken. So after I left, she asked the manager of the laundromat for my name and then I guess she looked me up because she called me. I knew immediately who it was when she called. She invited me to a dinner she was cooking for her roommate and we started dating and now here we are!
- How did you come to own The UPS Store?
It was in mid-1990s and I was working at IBM. We decided to start a business and Ashlen actually opened our first location of Mailboxes, Etc. on Blanding Boulevard. Then we added the Fleming Island location, which Ashlen still manages. By 2000, the growth in Fruit Cove was such that we decided to open that location. For awhile we also owned the Mandarin location. Today, we still have the Fleming Island location, but I won’t be working there full time
- What was your favorite part of owning The UPS Store in Fruit Cove?
I liked the aspect of serving and helping customers and our employees. Whenever I personally had the opportunity to exceed someone’s expectations … that the most gratifying thing for me.
- So, what’s next for you now that you have sold the store?
I found that I’ve actually been busier than ever the past two months, handling things I had put off and needed to get done. I’m actually seeking God’s plan for what I am to do next. I have a sense that I want to help people, but I still do need to earn a paycheck, so it will be in the business area. I’m pursuing three things: marketing work for the Fleming Island location part time; I just finished a self study for business consulting as I’d like to work with prospective small business owners; and possibly I will build a real estate practice. I find that I get a kick out of helping people in transition.
- If you could only eat one meal every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?
There’s probably one or two of my wife’s special Armenian dishes that I would choose. But I sure do love those fried seafood platters at the fish camp!
Photo courtesy Doug Nunnery
Doug and Ashlen Nunnery