|City/Town: • Miami|
|Location Class: • Commercial|
|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.