An old-fashion grocery store with an international flair and a butcher shop is set to open in downtown Sanford by mid-summer.

Courtney Haton and Mo Abed are currently working with the city of Sanford to secure permits to open Habibis International Market at 112 W. 2nd St.

The former celery capital of the world may soon be the Beer Capital of Florida

A resolution by the Sanford City Commission in 2005 made Budweiser the official beer of Sanford, but the city is quickly becoming the king of the craft beer scene.

By the end of 2015 Sanford will have three craft beer breweries, a Belgium beer bar, a craft beer bar and restaurant with more than four dozen microbrews on tap, a store selling home brewing equipment and supplies, and a bar that serves sour beer – all within a three block radius.

A popular Lake Mary restaurant wants to dump its current city in favor of relocating to downtown Sanford.

Lonnie'sOwners of Lonnie’s Fusion Cuisine (Website | Facebook), which serves “American food with an Asian flair,” are serious enough about the move to Sanford that they have obtained financing to rehab a building on Palmetto Avenue and have hired architects and engineers to draw up preliminary plans for the renovation.

Orlando Sanford International Airport (OSIA) President andCEO Larry Dale announced last week that he will retire effective Sept. 30.

Following Dale’s announcement at last week’s Sanford Airport Authority meeting, Vice President Diane Crews was nominated to fill Dale’s spot once he retires. However authority members reconsidered and will discuss the selection process at April’s meeting.

David Maus no longer does “whatever it takes,” at least not in Central Florida. But billionaire Warren Buffett soon will.

In July, Maus sold his minority partnership stake in the portfolio of Central Florida auto dealerships – including 3 in Sanford – that bore his name for $20 million back to Van Tuyl Group Inc., the nation’s largest privately-owned auto dealership group.

The developer behind a possible redevelopment of Sanford’s old train depot says he is “very positive about the city of Sanford,” and hopes to bring the project before a city board in October.

I reported last week that the train depot could be turned into an indoor food market. LINK

Since that time, I spoke directly to the gentleman undertaking the project. He asked not to be named at this time. I can tell you this, he is a Deberry resident with a business background, he currently has a retail shop on Park Avenue in Winter Park and he tried to buy Sanford’s iconic PICO Building three years ago. The name of The Sanford project is Bohemian Marketplace.

He confirmed that the project would be similar to the East End Market in Audubon Park in Orlando – an indoor food bazaar – with one big difference: Sanford’s market will have much more non-food related retail.

“You have to give people a reason to be there, ” the gentleman said. “At markets like the East End you go in for some coffee or some bread, but there’s nothing to keep you there for any time.”

A conceptual drawing of a proposed indoor market at Sanford's old train  with additional space provided by old shipping containers and railroad cars. Photo credit: ILuv Winter Park (posted on the site's Swarm account)
A conceptual drawing of a proposed indoor market at Sanford’s old train with additional space provided by old shipping containers and railroad cars. Photo credit: ILuv Winter Park (posted on the site’s Swarm account)

Downtown Sanford may soon be getting a new development … and, no, I’m not talking about Marina Island.

According ILuv Winter Park‘s Facebook page, as well as my sources here in Sanford, the old train depot located at 212 W. 1st St. (Corner of North Myrtle Avenue and 1st Street) could be the site of a trendy new retail experience.

I’ve seen the best of Sanford, I’ve seen the worst of Sanford. My fellow citizens  are charitable, kind and thoughtful but at times they are capable of extreme pettiness and boorish behavior.

I’m channeling Charles Dickens because I’m experiencing a tale of two Sanfords.

Since my stroke 5 weeks ago, I have received unbelievable support from the people of Sanford. Concurrently, I have witnessed the contempt with which some of these same people treat their neighbors.

The reason? People have a difference of opinion about a proposed development on Marina Island.

I’ve come to the realization that Sanford will not be a better community regardless of the outcome of this proposal.

paulrevereJuly 4 gets all the attention when it comes to early American history, but April 18 and 19 are critical dates in America’s struggle to gain independence from Great Britain. This weekend fire up the barbecue and shoot off some fireworks to celebrate the 239th anniversary of Paul Revere’s Midnight Ride and the original “Shot Hear Around the World.”

In the spring of 1775, tensions between the colonies and the British government were at a breaking point. This was doubly so in Massachusetts were the colonists’ resistance was well organized. On April 18, General Thomas Gage, the British governor of Massachusetts, ordered British troops to march to Lexington to arrest Samuel Adams and John Hancock.