It's time to open an old supermarket with a new Key
624 S. Dillard St.
Winter Garden, FL
As I was visiting some people down in western Orlando this morning and early afternoon, I decided to do a bit of quick retail photo scavenging afterwords (something I haven't had time to do in awhile). I decided to scan the area around Ocoee/ Pine Hills and Winter Garden to see if there was anything that popped out to me. I'm pretty bored of Publix stores, and most of Winn-Dixie's stores (especially Post Bankruptcy and Down Down don't hold my interest very long anymore). As I zoomed in on Winter Garden I saw the grocery symbol and the name Key Food. Cool! anything that's not Walmart, Publix, or Winn-Dixie should be interesting enough to visit! I'm committed. Here I come!
Hmmm..This looks curiously like a mid-1970's Winn-Dixie. Does anyone know (A.F.B. perhaps) if that is the case? I know from news archive photos I've been able to dig up, Winn-Dixie stores of the 70's had a metal facade that was in that same type of shape, but then again probably a lot of grocery stores looked similar to this back in the 70's. A.F.B. shared with me (earlier this past year) the link to an obscure grocery store in the tiny town of Inglis on Florida's upper west coast on US 19/98 called Food Ranch. That building seems similar to this one.
Let me stop blabbering and head inside!
Ok, I really like this! As weird as this sounds I get tired of Publix, simply because they are like cookie cutter grocery stores. They all look the same on the inside with no real pizzazz or zeal.
Publix absolutely proves the point that you can keep people loyal to shopping your stores even if your decor is boring, monotonous, and uniform, as long as you deliver impeccable customer service and a squeaky clean atmosphere. I like shopping at Publix too (who doesn't)? Their customer service keeps you coming back, even though people like myself are internally fuming about them seemingly erasing all comparable competition in Florida. I have to tell though, it is refreshing to see other small supermarket chains trying to give it a shot for people who may not be able to afford Publix's high prices and also loath the idea of going inside a horribly crowded and unpleasant Walmart Supercenter to buy their food. What you see here is a grocery store chain that is offering shoppers great values on food, all while giving off pleasant vibes with this comforting decor while catering to the local shoppers needs or wants.
The right front corner and right side of the store is where Fresh Produce can be found. I turned to the right to snap this photo after walking in.
I then turned back to my right facing the front right corner. This area is specifically the location for fruits (Cut Fruits).
It was pretty doggone busy when I got here, so I skipped over to the back aisle after leaving produce. Along the back wall I found Fresh packaged Meats.
I decided to head a bit further down the back aisle and was able to catch a break in the traffic to snap this photo looking to the right down the back aisle toward the back right corner.
Down at the left end of the back aisle on the back wall were freezers containing frozen Seafood.
Here is one of the grocery aisles containing canned goods
And another aisle containing pots, pans, and other kitchenware on the right (if facing the back of the store) and toiletries on the left.
Moving further to the left down the back wall is the selection of cold beer. I like the decor prop used with the glasses of beer. It sure makes the cold beer look all the more refreshing!
A bit of a crummy attempt at the Dairy section on the back wall (the next section to the left of Cold Beer).
Along the far left side aisle is the Dairy department and Frozen Foods. Something located directly ahead on the front wall looks very interesting to me, Hot Bread! I love bakery stuff, especially hot bread! But it gets even greater than this as you'll see in my next photo....
On a front end cap between the dry grocery items and snacks is a free standing oven where you can fetch hot bread to take with just before checkout, so you can indulge in it while you're sitting in your car perhaps.
This store gets even better in the next photos.
The Bakery was the only thing I was a bit disappointed about. It was actually very tiny, and just thrown in next to Deli meats. The Cafe seen below looks pretty amazing though!
Had it been the case that I had not eaten lunch just 20 minutes prior to arriving here, I would have totally bought lunch here. Let's see; a couple of beef empanadas and some yellow rice would have suited me just fine. I will have to come back here for lunch the next time I'm in Orlando.
Up on the wall above beverages on the right side of the Cafe was this mural of the 'Last Supper'. This was quite an amazing religious display placed inside a supermarket. However, many Hispanic people I know and have known in the past are very religious (and of many different Christian faiths). It was also neat how they placed a couple of presents on the little ledge just below the mural.
Here's a look at the checkout lanes across the front aisle of the store. On the wall above checkout is something common to all grocery stores; thanking the shoppers for 'Shopping with (fill in the blank).
Haha! My camera wasn't quite fast enough for this man with the basket to pass in front of me on his way to the last checkout lane. Overall, I was impressed with the food selection and the cleanliness of this store. Sure the Publix snobs wouldn't like this place, but I like it!
Here's one last photo I took inside right after checking out. Those checkout stands look new. That is a lot more creative than what Save-A-Lot did with their 'big' remodel, only repainting those check stands white.
As I was just getting into my car, I saw this opportunity to capture the Winter Garden water tower (which looks ancient), as well as the sign for West Orange Shopping Center. This is a store I'd like to come back to for some of the delicious looking Latin/Hispanic food seen the Cafe. I wish I had gotten some food at the Sedano's on S. Orange Blossom Trail (ex-Albertsons #4462). That place was amazing!
Hope you all enjoyed this post!
Till next time,