We moved to Anna Maria Island in 1999, soon after Publix opened a small grocery store on the island, just off of Manatee Avenue on East Bay Drive in Holmes Beach. In fact, as we arrived in town, after a three-day car trip to get here, we stopped at the island Publix to pick up a few essentials before walking into our new home and starting to unpack boxes. It was amazing that we ran into the only three people we already knew here, in the bakery section of the new store. It made us feel at home.
Since then, we have enjoyed having such a good market on the island. It is a lot smaller than the Publix, or Albertson’s, or Sweet Bay markets in Bradenton. But whoever does the buying and stocking of the Holmes Beach Publix does an amazing job. Rarely do we feel the need to go to a larger store to get something that’s not available in the island Publix. At the moment, the only such item I can think of is a particular boxed Chardonnay wine from Australia, which used to be carried on the island, but is no more.