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More Storefront 'Roommates' Splitting Space, Customers

Toni Riffel, the coffee guy, and Sarah O'Brien, the pastry lover, didn't know each other before they came together to share this space in Atlanta's Grant Park neighborhood.
Toni Riffel, the coffee guy, and Sarah O'Brien, the pastry lover, didn't know each other before they came together to share this space in Atlanta's Grant Park neighborhood.

More businesses across the country are teaming up to share space and customers. And while the economic marriages of convenience can have real advantages, they also come with some some stresses.

Sarah O'Brien is the owner of the Little Tart Bakeshop in Atlanta and shares a space with Octane, a local coffee roaster. She describes the relationship like having a roommate.

"We have to split our bills, we have to split the cleaning duties. It's just like having a roommate, you know, without the chore chart," she says.

When it works, it works well — but not everything is perfect. In O'Brien's space, for example, customers have to do two transactions if they want a coffee from Octane and a croissant from her shop.

But those hang-ups aren't stopping other businesses from trying out the concept. The service Storefront matches people wanting to sell things with available space — and owner Erik Eliason says it's grown 500 percent each year since it started in 2012.

Listen to the full story above.

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