Five Businesses Set to Pop Up in Delaware Downtowns

Dover, Milford, Milton and Smyrna will have vacancies filled during holiday season

DOVER, Del. (Sept. 19, 2013) – Owners of five Delaware businesses are thinking holidays already, and they have every reason to do so – they’ll be taking part in a state-led initiative that will provide them with rent-free commercial space for three months in a Delaware downtown from October through December.

The new businesses chosen to participate in Project Pop-Up 2013 will open by Oct. 1 in Dover, Milford, Milton and Smyrna.

Unlike more traditional Pop-Up programs in other areas of the country, Delaware’s Project Pop-Up has the dual goal of helping small business owners sign a long-term lease to occupy a brick-and-mortar location while also filling vacant properties in the state’s towns. This year, all selectees have signed leases that will allow them to make a smooth transition to paid occupancy beginning Jan. 1, 2014.

“We support small businesses at every phase of their development, because small business is big business in Delaware,” Gov. Jack Markell said. “This program has become an integral part of the reshaping of our economy by not only promoting entrepreneurship but also revitalizing our downtowns.”

The following businesses were chosen to take part in Project Pop-Up 2013:

  • Computers Fixed Today, a computer repair/ retail company in Dover owned by Theo Morgan.
  • 302Fitness, a personal training studio and small group workout center in Milton owned by John Lehne.
  • Milton Wellness Center of Delaware, which offers human performance consulting including yoga, coaching and sports psychology, run by Dr. Bill Shearer and Mary Van House.
  • Milford Massage, Wellness and Yoga, a Milford-based business owned by Paige Deiner.
  • Royal Treatments, a Smyrna-based business owned by Karen Gill that offers custom window treatments, home décor and accessories.

This is the second year that the Delaware Economic Development Office and Downtown Delaware have offered Project Pop-Up, with last year’s program placing three businesses in open spaces.

Both Amber Shader, owner of First & Little baby boutique in Middletown, and Jenn White, owner of Little Posies Photography in Milford, signed long-term leases to stay in their properties beyond the three-month period offered by the program.

“Last year, two of our success stories quickly became part of their respective downtown business communities,” said Diane Laird, DEDO State Coordinator for Downtown Delaware. “We’re confident that the properties and business owners taking part in Project Pop-Up 2013 will find that same spirit of partnership in their new homes, and that this synergy will translate into success beyond the upcoming holiday season.”

Alan Levin, Director of the Delaware Economic Development Office, said Project Pop-Up has become a vital tool in helping revitalize Delaware’s main streets.

“The strength of our economy relies on the health of our downtowns, and we’re banking on Project Pop-Up to once again stir growth and activity in these municipalities,” Levin said. “We are proud of these small business owners for taking the next step and moving into a storefront, which in turn helps us by bringing a vacant property to life.”

About the Delaware Economic Development Office
The Delaware Economic Development Office is an executive state agency responsible for attracting new investors and businesses to the state, promoting the expansion of existing industry, assisting small and minority-owned businesses, promoting and developing tourism and creating new and improved employment opportunities for all citizens of the State. Visit

About Downtown Delaware
Downtown Delaware, a program of the Delaware Economic Development Office, provides Delaware’s historic downtowns, communities, and small businesses with tools to revitalize their commercial districts, increase entrepreneurial opportunity, and enhance quality of place. To learn more about the Main Street program, visit