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Norman Brothers Produce | Photo by Sergio Alejandro, www.sergioisevil.co

Norman Brothers Produce

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Built: 1980 | Abandoned: August 8th, 2021
Status: Demolished
Photojournalist: Sergio Alejandro

The history of the Norman Brothers Produce dates back more than a half-century with brothers William “Billy” and L. J. Norman who owned the adjacent farmland. In 1974, they opened a small roadside produce stand that would eventually grow to meet the demands of the neighborhood by offering seafood, meat, and poultry. Later additions included a deli, bakery, and a prepared-food section.

In 1980, Norman Brothers was sold to L. J. Norman’s good friend David Nelson and his business partner, Ken Greaves. Nelson was heavily involved in the day-to-day operations and had ideas for expanding with the business’ first improvement being a milkshake counter which they became well-known for. Over the years, the building was improved upon including air-conditioning, automatic doors, additional checkout counters, and additional parking. The aforementioned inclusions of seafood, meat, and poultry were added under the ownership of Nelson as well as an extensive selection of prepared foods.

After 41 years in business, it was announced that the Norman Brothers property was sold to a developer with plans to demolish the building to be replaced with a 125-bed hospital-sized assisted living facility. Kim Booth, a partner of the store and the daughter of Norman Brothers owner, David Nelson, explained, “You know what, we just decided that it’s time, it’s time. It’s hard, it’s bittersweet, but we’re going to be okay.

Booth said they’re planning cookbooks with stories and some of their favorite recipes. but the business won’t be moving to another location. She added, “To see it all come to a close and know that there’s a holiday coming up, Thanksgiving, that we’re actually going to be able to sit at a table and not be so exhausted. That we can actually enjoy each other’s company. For 41 years, we haven’t done that.” Norman Brothers Produce officially closed on August 8th, 2021.

Norman Brothers
Norman Brothers Produce, 2006. Donna E. Natale Planas, Miami Herald

Gallery Below of Norman Brothers Produce

Bullet

David Bulit is a photographer, author, and historian from Miami, Florida. He has published a number of books on abandoned and forgotten locales throughout the United States and continues to advocate for preserving these historic landmarks. His work has been featured throughout the world in news outlets such as the Miami New Times, the Florida Times-Union, the Orlando Sentinel, NPR, Yahoo News, MSN, the Daily Mail, UK Sun, and many others. You can find more of his work at davidbulit.com as well as amazon.com/author/davidbulit.

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Jean Carmona
2 months ago

Hey Bullet, thanks for sharing this pictures. i wanted to ask, are photographers allowed to access the inside of these building for shoots? or you had to ask for a permit? thanks!

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