Sunday, December 6, 2020

Celebrating 7 Years of AFB!

     2020 has been an odd year, that's for sure. While 2020 certainly wasn't the idealistic way to begin the new decade like we all wanted, we've made it this far, and hopefully we'll blaze into 2021 on a stronger note. However, out of the darkness there will always be light, and we need to spotlight some of the brighter points this year, like how a certain retail blog has reached its 7th anniversary! Yes, as of today, AFB has been on the web for 7 years, growing quite a bit and exploring hundreds of fun and unique stores throughout Florida since everything began on December 6, 2013. I would have been happy with just one other person wanting to read my ramblings about Floridian supermarkets back then, but 7 years and 531,000 pageviews later, I guess more than one other person has found interest in this topic! 😁 Anyway, this blog would not be possible without you, the reader, the person who has managed to make it this far through one of my big blocks of text. I like sharing my adventures with you, and there are many more to be found out there. It seems like everywhere I look, there is always something new to discover out there, but isn't discovering new places half the fun of this hobby?

     While 2020 was crazy in general, I'd have to say this was one of the most eventful years for Floridian retail in a while, both for the good and the bad. We started off 2020 with the back to back implosions of Lucky's Market and Earth Fare in January, which probably should have been our sign of things to come. The implosions of those chains were the basis for many of the events to follow, including the expansion of others. Most notably (and shockingly) came Winn-Dixie's purchase of 8 of those stores, one of Winn-Dixie's biggest pushes for expansion in years. Those 8 stores, on top of another store opened in Jacksonville in February 2020, mark a new commitment by Winn-Dixie to turn themselves around, one of the most interesting developments to come this year. In 2020, Publix has begun a more widespread rollout of their new prototype, while continuing to open new stores and completely dominate Florida's supermarket scene. Publix also turned 90 years old in 2020, a huge milestone for the company that the year's events soured just a bit. It will be interesting to see where these developments take us come 2021 and beyond. As you know with Floridian retail, weird things always happen here, so we can't rule anything out!

     To celebrate AFB's 7th year on the web, I have a fun post featuring a very unique Publixsons store to follow this, a store I'd been curious about for years. I hope you guys like that store as much as I did, but before we get there, my usual recap of the year's posts can be found below.

While 2020 is coming to a close, 2021 will bring many new destinations to AFB. I have plenty more to share, so there will be plenty more to see here!

Remember to scroll down for today's feature post, and thanks for reading the blog!


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The Year in Review (and Some Random Stats):

Albertsons Stores Covered:

Albertsons #4318 - Tampa, FL (Town n' Country) (My third most popular post of the year)

Bonus Buy Stores Covered:

Publix #1686 - Loughman, FL (Publix's new prototype, minus the new decor - my most popular post of the year)
Foodtown Supermarket of West Palm Beach - West Palm Beach, FL (My second most popular post of the year)
Publix Greenwise Market #1159 - Boca Raton, FL (The original Greenwise concept)
Greenwise Market #1659 - Lakeland, FL (The new Greenwise concept)
A Nifty Thrifty Old Winn-Dixie - St. Augustine, FL
Publix #50 - West Palm Beach, FL (Publix's oldest continually operational store)
And one more bonus store post to come in late December!


  1. Happy blogiversary, AFB! Congrats on seven years!! I always enjoy reading your "big blocks of text," because you always include such detailed and informative information about the stores you're documenting. Your photos also do a great job of conveying the subjects well, and to begin with the topics you choose to focus on are always among the most interesting in the Floridian supermarket scene. I feel like I'd have trouble sustaining that sort of pace, but seven years in and you haven't wavered, so you definitely ought to be commended for that! Looking forward to all the new content you've got planned for the future (and also, I don't mean for that earlier message to put you under any pressure, haha -- just wanted to say how much I like the blog and the effort you put into it!)

    Seeing the 2020 summary of events really puts it all together as to how much has happened this year for Florida supermarkets. As you said, it was a really eventful year -- both for the good and for the bad -- but ultimately, it's led to a lot of opportunities, and that's all you can ask for. I certainly won't mind if more new developments arise next year, but for the world at large, I think I'll have to echo everyone else -- hopefully things will start to quiet down and get back to normal!

    1. Thanks! At least there’s some appreciation for my “big blocks of text”! 😊 All of these places I visit and document have a story to tell, and I try my best to dig up as much of that story as I can. The photos are the primary part of each post though, so I try my hardest to not overshadow that. I can’t believe it myself sometimes that seven years in I’m still going this strong, but people like reading what I put out, which keeps me motivated to do this. Hopefully I can keep up the pace, as there’s still so much more out there to cover!

      While Florida will probably never see the variety of supermarkets we once had back in the 80’s and 90’s ever again, if anything good came out of 2020, it’s that I like the direction our supermarkets are heading in for the 2020’s. Winn-Dixie’s renewed faith in themselves was probably the high point for me, after they stagnated for nearly 15 years without any clear direction of what they wanted to do. Now they’re opening new stores once again (a topic that will be a big focus for AFB in 2021 – seeing the results of these first few to open). I’m interested to see where things go in 2021, and maybe more good news will come – like you said, we can all use some good news right now!

    2. You're welcome! Yep, it's hard to strike a good balance between the text and the images, but you do a very good job of that. (That's certainly been a challenge for me in some cases, where I write a whole lot of general background before even diving into the specific subject, haha!) I'm glad to see so many people enjoy reading this blog, and hope even more new readers will continue to discover your content.

      Absolutely! I totally agree about Winn-Dixie's second wind, such as it is, and with any luck it will pan out nicely.

  2. Hey AFB! I remember A sweetbay on Bruce b Downs In Tampa 33647 That’s been abandoned for 7 years now.
    I used to shop at that Sweetbay Store #???
    17605 Bruce B Downs Blvd, Tampa, FL 33647

    1. Yes, I’ve come across that store in my research before (Sweetbay #1854) – it’s one of the old Kash n’ Karry round prototype stores from the turn of the millennium. I’ve never visited that place myself, but if I’m out that way again I’ll have to keep it in mind.

  3. Happy anniversary to the Albertsons Florida Blog! Keep up the good work, I enjoy seeing the photos and reading the detailed histories about these places. While we did have Albertsons here in Houston, and kind of still do with Randall's and El Rancho, some of these other grocers are rather mysterious to me so anything I read about them is informative. I'm sure you put a lot of work into these things, but I think the end result is worth it. The blog format works well for the way you present things. I also think the AFB has served as a template of sorts and as inspiration for other retail bloggers. That's great because I enjoy reading all those blogs!

    2020 has been a rough year for a lot of people, but I think it's been a pretty good year for supermarkets as a whole. At least it hasn't been so bad for grocers as it has been for others. As B&M retail continues to fade away in many regards, it seems that grocers are playing a bigger and bigger role in the B&M retail scene. Well, them and Ross/TJMaxx, lol, but I'd rather read about supermarkets. So, yeah, hopefully there will continue to be supermarkets to cover on this blog.

    1. Thanks! I’m glad you enjoy reading the posts and seeing what new comes to the blog! Florida is unique when it comes to supermarkets, as not only do we have our home-grown stores (Publix, Winn-Dixie, and the late Kash n’ Karry/Sweetbay), but everyone in creation tried to expand into Florida to capture the business of all the relocated northerners. Albertsons was the only outsider that ever made anything of Florida, and it was sad to see them fizzle out like they did. I like doing this, and as long as others want to read it, I’ll keep going on this crazy journey of mine. I know there were quite a few others who were inspired to start documenting their local stores in some form because of AFB, although really, this blog would have never happened had I not been inspired to do the same thing by the (now defunct) Acme Style blog. I like seeing all the new blogs pop up, at that there are others out there who are inspired by what we do, and appreciate our efforts as well!

      Even with everything going on and everything that happened, I think Florida is going to have a really interesting decade when it comes to supermarkets. The 2000’s and 2010’s saw a lot of decline here, but I’m thinking Florida’s fortunes will change in the 2020’s. I’m liking what I’ve seen come out of the ashes of this year, and hopefully we’ll see some more positive developments next year!