Jerry’s Foods Officially Reopen After Ian

provided to The Santiva Chronicle

Chamber representatives were on hand to celebrate Jerry’s reopening with a ribbon cutting.

As a big first step toward island recovery from Hurricane Ian, Jerry’s Foods on Sanibel celebrated its reopening with a ribbon cutting hosted by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday, Oct. 25, at the store’s location, 1700 Periwinkle Way.

“We are all very excited about Jerry’s reopening,” said John Lai, chamber president and chief executive officer, who has been at the forefront of island recovery efforts. “Our goal right now is to celebrate everything positive that points toward a return to normalcy.”

Jerry’s Foods of Sanibel General Manager Rick Winningham announced the official reopening at the city of Sanibel’s live Facebook broadcast on Monday, Oct. 24. He also presented a $20,000 donation in partnership with Richard Johnson, co-owner of Bailey’s General Store of Sanibel, to FISH of SanCap, the islands’ food pantry and human services organization.

“We have had a longtime partnership with Richard [Johnson],” said Doug Winsor, vice president of operations for Jerry’s Foods, who also participated in the presentation. “We help each other out all the time when one or the other runs out of supplies. We’re competitors, but at the same time, it feels like we’re more partners than competitors. We want to be there to help Bailey’s get back up and going.”

Winsor added the two grocery stores’ shared supplier, United Natural Foods. Inc. (UNFI), also partnered on the FISH donation.

Like most island businesses, Jerry’s suffered extensive damage from the category-4 hurricane that leveled a crippling blow to the islands on Sept. 28. The business lost much of its operating equipment and most of its air-conditioning units, causing roof damage. Its second-story structure, however, gave the business an advantage in recovering quickly, and Winsor credited Winningham’s hard work for making it happen.

“During this unprecedented time when many of our own staff have lost their homes and personal possessions and have been displaced, our team reflected on the philosophy and passion of the company, which is to be a community gathering place for the neighborhoods in which we operate,” Winningham said. “Our team has pulled together and is honored to partner with Bailey’s, UNFI, and FISH to focus on ‘neighbors helping neighbors,’ because we believe everyone, especially in this time of hardship, deserves nutritious food and a friendly smile.”

“It’s not going to look like it did before the storm,” said Winsor. “The store is not yet able to offer frozen foods, and refrigerated items are limited, but Jerry’s team overcame enormous obstacles, including limited island access for construction workers and employees, to be able to officially open on Tuesday, Oct. 25, for daily operation 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.”

The restaurant was to open Friday, Oct. 28 for first responders only. It will open to the public the following day with a limited menu for breakfast and lunch.

Jerry’s shopping center primary tenant, Sanibel Surf Shop, has already reopened, and Sanibel Spirits was expected to open early this week.

“My hats off to what the city has done. This is a once-in-a-hundred-years hurricane, and three weeks later they have the causeway open! They’re amazing,” said Winsor, with special gratitude to Vice Mayor Johnson for stepping in two days after the storm to help Jerry’s “figure things out.”

“As the vice mayor of the city of Sanibel, I am proud to work with the team from Jerry’s Foods to be one of the first businesses to reopen post catastrophe to provide for our community during Bailey’s absence from the marketplace,” said Johnson. “Bailey’s General Store suffered significant damage. We look forward to the day that we can welcome our work family and our customers back.”

“Jerry’s reopening is not only a symbol of hope for all islanders, but a potent demonstration of the island spirit – where people all work together for the better good and competitors join forces,” said Lai.

The Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce is dedicated to promoting the prosperity of its members and preserving the quality of life of our community. With more than 460 active Chamber members from both islands and businesses from Lee and Collier counties, the Chamber plays a key role in facilitating communication and cooperation between business, residents, and government to enhance the economic health of the islands. The Francis P. Bailey, Jr., Chamber Visitor Center is located at the entrance to Sanibel Island and welcomes tens of thousands of visitors each year. VISIT FLORIDA named the visitor center one of 13 official Florida Certified Tourism Information Centers in the state. It is open 365 days a year and provides comprehensive information about things to do, places to visit, and where to stay, shop, and dine. The chamber website receives more than 1.3 million website visits per year. For more information about the chamber, visit or contact Landen Collins, communications and marketing manager, at 239-472-8255 or

Comments (1)

  1. Marijane Siewert

    Always lead with a positive story Jerry’s opening instead of Baileys closed.

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