Wednesday, October 21, 2020

ABC Liquors


Photos by Steve Stefanides | Shopper Sandra Cappellina.

One of Florida’s great success stories started due to the fall of one of America’s greatest legislative failures. Prohibition began in 1920 after three-quarters of the nation’s states ratified the 18th Amendment to the United States Constitution. That Amendment made the manufacture, transport and sale of alcohol within the United States illegal.

That great experiment ended in 1933, and a young man named Jack Holloway who failed to convince his then employer that they should look at carrying a selection of beverages to meet the need of the buying public went out on this own. He opened his first store in Orlando in 1936, and 83 years later his family continued to operate the family business which is now known today as ABC Liquors.

Gift Assortments.

When Holloway first began his venture, they were small package stores with a neighborhood-friendly bar attached to the retail store. It was known as “Jack Holloway’s Friendly Neighborhood Bar.” A few years later he would rename the venture ABC Liquors.

According to Holloway, the reason regarding the name change was for positioning within publications for advertising. The letters “ABC” had to show up first in any alphabetical listing according to Holloway.

Earlier this fall, the Marco Island addition became part of the 126 outlets here in Florida, according to Cory Gibbons, the Store Manager for Marco Island.

Many islanders’ have been impressed with the quality of the appearance of this retail store. From the excellent exterior and interior appearance to the over the top landscaping, the store quickly catches your eye and emits a sense of up-scale appearance.

Sandra Cappellina, who lives in Southwest Florida but was vacationing on Marco for the Christmas Holiday, was quick to comment on the interior of the store and its offerings. “We are using our Marriott Points and enjoying ourselves on Marco and find this as a great addition to the island. All of this really looks top shelf to us.”

The first thing that impresses a shopper when they step into the store is the many offerings of varying spirits, wines, beers and accompanying cheeses, spreads and upscale sundries available.

Phil Miller, a wine expert assigned to the store who specifically deals with fine wines points out the various offerings, some of which can range from very moderate priced wines to even $1,000 a bottle.

The box wines are of great value. They preserve the wines due to their convenience and the ability to get four bottles of wine into each box. You don’t have to worry about pulling corks or refrigerating these wines because the plastic inner liner is always sealed, therefore not letting air in.

Miller had his own boutique wine shop up in Michigan and has over 8 years’ experience in the wine and spirit industry. He explained the fact that Marco has proven to be a very particular customer base when it comes to wines and residents here are very particular in choices. Many of the wines shown are rated at 90 or slightly above, which denotes a very good quality product. He did explain that not all manufacturers of wine spend the money to have their product rated, as it is quite expensive, and the smaller vineyards may not partake in that process.

Looking for a gift to bring to a party or just looking for a miniature of one of your favorite spirits to carry on a trip they are also available.

A large cooler housing hundreds of bottles of wine will immediately draw the attention of shoppers when they first walk into the store. Another large glassed-in-area is an extensively stocked humidor with a variety of fine cigar products for those that might enjoy a fine cigar after dinner.

The company also stocks a wide variety of imported beers, lagers and IPA’s, in addition to your standard domestic beers.

Our last stop on the tour was both Gibbons and Miller proudly showing off an offering of Louie XIII Cognac, which is one of the finest of brandies. That offering was provided with a crystal decanter and priced at $4000. A wonderful offering for someone special.

One of the other services available to islanders is their online ordering. Place your order, similar to one for $900 that was done while I was there, and you can pick it up within an hour or less. They are presently working on a delivery option which should be available in about a month.

You can visit their website at www.abcfws.com to view all their offerings, sign up for their various specials and become a member of their club to earn points for future purchases and special coupons, or visit them at their new location at 725 Bald Eagle Drive.

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