Green­ing of Bai­ley’s

So­cial aware­ness and costs drive gro­cer in cleaner di­rec­tions

Times of the Islands - - Departments - BY CRAIG GAR­RETT

Richard John­son sees a green fu­ture. Co-owner of Bai­ley’s General Store on Sanibel, John­son is mov­ing ag­gres­sively to con­vert 40,000 square feet of floor space into a more so­cially aware place, he says, spend­ing many thou­sands of dol­lar s on so­lar de­vices; green-friendly re­frig­er­a­tion, doors and light­ing; new floor­ing; and other up­grades at check­out such as re­cy­cled shop­ping bags and a re­duc­tion in plas­tic.

Rooftop so­lar pan­els were in­stalled this fall, and other changes are com­pleted or planned for the next two years, John­son says. The goal is energy in­de­pen­dence, or at least a lighter foot­print to re­duce the costs of run­ning a busi­ness that’s re­liant on elec­tric­ity. “We call it the green­ing of Bai­ley’s,” says John­son, whose wife, Mead, is the daugh­ter of Fran­cis Bai­ley, a son of the store’s founder. Frank Bai­ley be­gan the busi­ness on Sanibel in 1899. “It’s a busi­ness de­ci­sion, sure,” John­son says of mod­ern­iz­ing to re­duce costs. “But when you’re mar­ried to an en­vi­ron­men­tal­ist, you’re go­ing to pick up a few point­ers.”

Bai­ley’s started as a packinghouse ship­ping toma­toes and cit­rus and mor­phed into the gro­cery side as vis­i­tors be­gan flocking to and set­tling on Sanibel. The com­pany’s first store in the 1920s was de­stroyed by a hur­ri­cane; its re­place­ment to­day rests at the Sanibel His­tor­i­cal

Mu­seum & Vil­lage. Pine-framed Bai­ley’s was then more of a catch-all: hard­ware to gro­ceries to home goods, even of­fer­ing the is­land’s first tele­graph and phone ser­vices. It sat on Matthews Wharf at the end of what is to­day Bai­ley Road. Frank

BAI­LEY’S STARTED AS A PACKINGHOUSE SHIP­PING TOMA­TOES AND CIT­RUS AND MOR­PHED INTO THE GRO­CERY SIDE AS VIS­I­TORS BE­GAN FLOCKING TO AND SET­TLING ON SANIBEL.

Richard John­son has been ac­tive in so­cial causes to ben­e­fit Southwest Florida. Here he is pic­tured with Christin Collins of Lee Me­mo­rial Health (left), Re­nee and Emily Nor­ris of Nor­ris Fur­ni­ture & In­te­ri­ors of Fort My­ers.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.