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From Devastation to Celebration: Sanibel and Captiva hold 100th Grand Opening since Hurricane Ian

Posted at 7:29 AM, Jul 03, 2024

SANIBEL, Fla. — The islands have reached a significant milestone in their economic recovery since Hurricane Ian. More than 100 businesses have now celebrated their re-openings.

One of the newest additions is the VCA Sanibel Animal Hospital.

It expanded from a modest 960-square-foot facility to a new, spacious 4,100-square-foot building.

But it’s not just returning businesses that are opening. On Friday, Captiva Curio Cottage also celebrated its grand opening. The owners acknowledge the challenges of starting a business in a hurricane-prone area.

"When hurricanes hit that hard, people are scared to open businesses. They don't want to go through something like that, that's so unexpected," said Jodecy Cole.

With the current hurricane season already underway, Cole admits there is a constant concern.

"It's a stress every time we see something brewing up, but I wouldn't say that's going to stop us from moving forward," she said.

Despite the risks, Cole and other business owners have noticed a demand for new ventures on the island, a demand they are hoping to meet.

To further support Sanibel businesses, St. Michael's Church on the island has launched a program called "Love Sanibel Businesses Back." This initiative encourages people to gather at specific island businesses on designated dates throughout the summer.

DateTimeLocation
Wednesday, July 39 a.m.Jerry's (coffee, breakfast) & Shops at Jerry's
Wednesday, July 102 p.m.The Shack, She Sells Sea Shells, Huxters & MacIntosh Books
Thursday, July 183 p.m.Bubble Room Boops, Emporium & The Island Store (Captiva)
Thursday, July 2511:30 a.m.Lighthouse Cafe (lunch), Rachel Pierce Gallery, Outdoor Market
Friday, Aug. 29 a.m.Sanibel Deli (coffee, breakfast), CROW & Pak-N-Ship gift shops
Friday, Aug. 94 p.m.Hirdie Girdie & Tower Gallery, Sanibel Grill (dinner)
Saturday, Aug. 176 p.m.Rosalita's (dinner), "Ding" Refuge/Visitor Center/Store (9a-4p)
Saturday, Aug. 246 p.m.Tutti Pazzi (dinner)