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Chamber celebrates reopening of The Island Store

By CHAMBER OF COMMERCE - | Dec 16, 2020

PHOTO PROVIDED Chamber representatives celebrated with The Island Store owners and staff on Dec. 10.

On Dec. 10, the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce celebrated the long-anticipated reopening of the historic Island Store on Captiva. The Bailey family, owners of Bailey’s General Store on Sanibel, reopened the store in October after purchasing it in 2018, then gutting and restoring it.

“The store was completely renovated to current safety and quality standards, while maintaining a historic look and feel of the store,” Calli Johnson, fourth-generation owner-operator, said. “We are excited to expand our fresh produce, with plans to add hot soup and sandwiches soon. Guests will notice the liquor store has moved from one side of the store to the other, and we now have the only beer cave on Captiva.”

Built circa 1915, the historic building has known many lives — from a beauty parlor and boarding house to a restaurant and, in 1940, a grocery store under the ownership of Jay “Ding” Darling.

“It is our pleasure to serve Captiva residents and guests daily from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. at The Island Store,” she said. “Our mom’s mother’s family originally owned Jensen’s resort before it was Jensen’s, so it makes perfect sense that the Bailey family is returning to Captiva.”

“We are excited the project is completed and we have this beautiful new building where we can get back to what we know best: groceries and customer service,” Johnson added.

She noted that the store currently employs four and will be hiring additional staff.

“It’s so great to have The Island Store open again, and we warmly welcome it back into the fold,” chamber President John Lai said. “What better people to bring it back to life than the Baileys.”

Johnson, who serves as secretary-treasurer for the chamber’s board of directors, explained that the Sanibel-Captiva chamber is incredibly important to business and the community on the islands.

“Most importantly, their team advocates for our community as a whole,” she said. “I know John and his team have our back when it comes to politics that affect our islands.”

The Island Store is at 11500 Andy Rosse Lane, Captiva.