Aldi, the Germany-based grocery store chain, has resumed construction on another new Cape Coral store.
This one will be located at Santa Barbara Boulevard and Veterans Parkway in what had been slated to be a Lucky’s Market. Lucky’s pulled out of Southwest Florida even before the COVID-19 pandemic began. Aldi, meanwhile, just keeps growing.
“We’re proud to be one of the fastest-growing retailers in the country,” said Chris Hewitt, Royal Palm Beach division vice president for Aldi. “In 2017, we announced an accelerated growth plan with a more than $5 million capital investment in new and remodeled stores.”
Aldi has more than 2,100 stores across 37 states, Hewitt said.
“We’re on pace to become the third-largest U.S. grocery retailer by store count by the end of 2022,” Hewitt said.
Five years ago, there were two Aldi stores in all of Southwest Florida. Now, there are 16. Lee County leads with 10. Collier County has four, and Charlotte County has two. There are three existing Aldi stores in Cape Coral, including one at the Coralwood Mall. That spot had been slated to become a Fresh Market until that chain dropped its plans to expand, opening the door for Aldi.
The Veterans/Santa Barbara Aldi, which will be Cape Coral’s fourth store, is scheduled to open sometime in 2022.
Following its Mid-Cape Summer Fest, Mercola Market & Café donates $4,000 to the Cape Coral Animal Shelter.
The all-day inaugural event, which benefitted the local animal shelter, attracted over 1,000 people to celebrate the end of summer with live music, a vintage car show, food trucks, a corn hole tournament, face painting, a petting zoo, hot air balloon rides and more.
“The goal of this first-time event was to introduce our Market to the community and bring families together to enjoy the last weekend before the new school year starts,” says Patrick Rossi, Mercola Market of Cape Coral General Manager.
“Donating the event proceeds was the icing on top, and we’re happy to support the Cape Coral Animal Shelter in their mission of providing a safe place for animals until they find they’re forever home.”
The Mercola Market & Café of Cape Coral is a new retail store that exclusively features Dr. Mercola branded products for your health, home, pantry and pet. In addition, the Café offers a complete selection of biodynamic coffee and espresso beverages, hot and iced teas, and a variety of baked goods from a local bakery, including gluten-free and vegan options.
The Market & Café is open Tuesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
The Cape Coral Animal Shelter (CCAS) has partnered with Hope Hospice to take current services one step further for hospice patients.
In animal rescue, one of the most heartbreaking owner surrender requests is when a person is terminally ill and must give up their beloved pet. Once surrendered, the person ultimately loses touch with their pet after it is adopted, spending their last days wondering about and missing their companion.
Finding a home for pets can also be a burden for family members when a loved one enters hospice unexpectedly and they scramble frantically to find a home for the pet.
Hope Hospice created the Hope for Pets program to alleviate that worry and give people in their care some peace of mind that their pets will have veterinary visits, exercise, and, when needed, a new, loving home. To ensure no pet is left behind, Hope for Pets has partnered with various shelters to help coordinate pet adoptions and veterinary care.
Now, CCAS is offering enhanced services to keep the connection between Hope’s pet owners and their loyal companions strong for as long as possible.
Our program will facilitate the surrender of a pet by a hospice patient. However, that pet will stay in the home of the patient until he/she is no longer able to care for the pet. During that time, CCAS will handle medical care of the pet, transport to and from the patient’s home for vet visits, and supply food/supplies if needed.
Further, if the Hope Hospice patient enters a hospice facility, CCAS will put the pet into a foster home until the patient passes away. These fosters will be specifically chosen and trained to be compassionate and understanding of the situation. They will provide updates, pictures, phone calls, and (if possible) visits to the patient in a hospice facility. Once the patient passes, CCAS will find a loving, forever home for the pet.
“We have a network of fantastic foster parents who are specially educated about end-of-life care. They keep in touch with the owner and help them stay connected to their pet with updates, phone calls and visits,” said McCauley.
“We are creating a continuity in transitioning a pet from owner to foster family, while forging a faster pathway to adoption.”
Oftentimes, pet adoptions are delayed due to an absence of medical information or lapsed treatments. Now, veterinary services are brought up to date and pets are given the care they need to stay happy and healthy well before they join their new adopted home, giving the hospice patient and their families great relief during a most difficult time.
Please see the attached link to the office article posted by Hope Hospice for their insight:
Best Buddies International is excited to announce a generous grant from the Golisano Foundation of $50,000 to expand its work in Southwest Florida to serve more individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).
“Best Buddies Southwest Florida is honored to have been selected for a $50,000 grant from the Golisano Foundation. With a goal of creating awareness and inclusion throughout Southwest Florida, Best Buddies will use this grant to help forward our mission of providing more opportunities in area schools for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities,” says Melanie Musick, Best Buddies Area Director.
With the Golisano Foundation’s support, Best Buddies was launched in Southwest Florida in October 2017. Initial funding supported organizing the local office, providing for space and operations.
The Southwest Florida office, located at 5237 Summerlin Commons Blvd. in Fort Myers, is staffed with two full-time employees, Area Director Melanie Musick and Program Manager Molly Morrina, who is the school liaison.
Currently, Southwest Florida has Best Buddies chapters at 26 schools throughout the local community. Each chapter is supported by a Faculty Advisor/Special Education Advisor plus a Chapter President, in addition to the Program Manager.
School administrators, teachers and/or parents wanting Best Buddies offered at a specific school location in Lee, Collier, Charlotte or Sarasota counties are welcome to contact Melanie Musick at firstname.lastname@example.org or 239-275-2510.
Best Buddies is a nonprofit founded in 1989 by Anthony K. Shriver to establish a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).
Lee County celebrates National Travel and Tourism Week (NTTW) May 2-8, as it spotlights the critical role travel plays in driving economic recovery efforts and building the path forward through the theme Power of Travel.
The annual celebration of the contributions of the U.S. travel industry, NTTW was created by Congress in 1983 to elevate the economic power of domestic travel. The weeklong celebration arrives at an opportune moment to recognize the importance to the U.S. economy of initiating a post-pandemic travel recovery.
In place of the Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau’s (VCB) annual in-person Travel Rally, a virtual celebration will feature engaging videos about the people and places that make Southwest Florida special to its visitors and to the community. The VCB will showcase appreciation for the local tourism and hospitality industries, and share the importance these businesses have played in bolstering the local economy.
“NTTW takes on a special significance this year as our industry continues to rebound quickly from the pandemic and accelerate recovery efforts,” said Lee County Commissioner Brian Hamman, chairman of the Tourist Development Council.
“We all recognize the past year was incredibly challenging, but we saw the full power of our destination on display in the way we united and supported one another through this crisis.”
As the tourism industry moves forward with optimism about the future, it’s important to recognize that visitor spending in calendar year 2020 generated an economic impact of $4,274,184,500.
The destination attracted 3,391,700 visitors and tourism supported 49,006 jobs.
The upcoming NTTW schedule includes:
Sunsational Sunday, May 2, kicks off NTTW as we celebrate the importance of the tourism industry and show appreciation for its workforce and the impact within the community, along with educating the public on the Power of Travel.
Magical Managers Monday, May 3, highlights three special leaders that make a difference in Lee County’s tourism community. They are exemplary role models and mentors to our frontline staff.
Be Kind Tuesday, May 4, profiles and recognizes employees whose acts of kindness have helped guide us through the pandemic and demonstrate what it means to be kind.
Wanderlust Wednesday, May 5, creates an urge to get out and explore some of the hidden gems Lee County has to offer. Learn about the cultural experiences within the destination and how to plan a vacation in your own backyard.
Throwback Thursday, May 6, is a reminder of how far we have come in Lee County tourism. With Lee County attracting 5 million visitors a year, tourism is a tool for enhancing what we love about our region – from its ecological wonders to its history and culture.
Fantastic Friday, May 7, showcases the Power of Travel and how it has positively impacted our community through economic spending, local workforce and our tourism ambassador program at Southwest Florida International Airport. Join us for fun facts and trivia as we celebrate the visitors who choose Lee County as their vacation destination.
Small Business Saturday, May 7, recognizes the resilient business owners who have had an impact in our local tourism community as we continue our recovery. Their support with the launch of the VCB’s cost-saving Sun Saver Passport is helping keep our community thriving with discounted experiences as we continue in our recovery phase.