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Times of the Islands Magazine

Sanibel Grog Shop Nearing 50 Years in Business

Courtesy of Grog Shop's website

Sam and Francis Bailey opened The Grog Shop - 2485 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel, in late 1972,  just 73 years after their father, Frank P. Bailey, had opened Bailey's General Store. When it opened, The Grog Shop was the only liquor store on the island. Nearly 50 years later, it remains the largest shop with a robust selection of products to match. The shop has always supplied a carefully curated selection of wine, spirits, and beer. For the cigar aficionado, the shop features Sanibel's only walk-in cigar humidor.

We caught up with Rich Bennett, Manager to talk about The Grog Shop's history on the island, its current product offerings, industry trends, and more.

Courtesy of Grog Shop's website

What is The Grog Shop? How would you describe it to a friend?

The Grog Shop is Sanibel’s largest shop for liquor, wine, beer, and cigars. We bring in several new products every week. We love helping customers with special orders and we do quite a few deliveries. Our team really enjoys helping our customers find something to really enjoy, whether it's an old favorite or a newly found gem.

When and why did you start the business?

Sam and Francis Bailey started the Grog Shop in 1972. Next year marks our 50th! For many years, the Grog Shop was the island’s only liquor store. 

Courtesy of Grog Shop's website

What's something you wish people knew about your business?

We offer a great selection of products with over 1,500 products to choose from, including over 125 bourbons and ryes, over 100 cigars in our walk-in humidor, and over 150 wines rated 90 points or more.

What is your most popular product?

While vodka is still the biggest selling category, bourbon has made huge strides. More recently, tequila and rum are coming on strong. With respect to wines, pinot noirs have made the most significant gains over the last year, while chardonnay remains the biggest seller.

Courtesy of Grog Shop's website

 Personally, what is your favorite product?

Over the last several years, I’ve converted from a scotch drinker to bourbons and ryes. There are always so many great products being introduced or special expressions being released that it’s hard to pick a favorite.

Are you involved with or do you support any local nonprofits, community organizations, or causes?

Sam Bailey’s three daughters, Tee Ann, Toy, and Tye are the owners of the Grog Shop. The commitment to Sanibel is at the core of the business. We are proud to support FISH, The Historical Village, The Community Center, CHR, and many other worthy causes. 

Why did you choose to be in Sanibel?

The Bailey family has been serving Sanibel residents for over 125 years. Where else would we go?