Sunshine History

Early On…

Just after the Second World War, the year-round population of Naples was far less than 1,000 residents, and even “during season,” the local phone book listed fewer than 200 numbers. These limited demographics challenged the local merchants, such as Don Wynn, to generate enough business so that they could provide Neapolitans and their winter visitors with the quality of goods and variety of choices they needed and wanted.

At the time, there were just two small grocery stores in town: Wynn’s Bayview at Crayton Cove and the Seminole Market in the historic Mercantile Building that still stands on 3rd Street South. However, shopping for anything beyond bare necessities generally involved an all-day trip to Fort Myers.

The 1940s-1960s…

Subsequently, in 1948, Don Wynn opened Naples’ first modern grocery store on the corner of 7th Street and 5th Avenue South (where Yabba’s Restaurant was located until 2023). When Don Wynn opened that market, there were no other retail stores on 5th Avenue between Wynns and the Gulf beach. Five years later, in 1953, Don Wynn built a second market that was double in size, located just 50 feet east of the original market on 5th Avenue.

By 1958, he brought more urban convenience to the small, growing town by converting the original building into a full line hardware store. That was the birth of Sunshine Hardware, just as Don Wynn named it in 1958. Right from the outset, Sunshine Hardware was carefully developed to reflect the very best attributes of its mercantile sibling, “The Wynn Markets.” Don Wynn was adamant that his new store afforded “Small Town Naples” with “Big City” advantages, including the widest variety of top quality goods, coupled with a friendly and service-oriented staff. This continues to be the principal feature and greatest strength of all Wynn businesses today.

More Recently…

For two decades, Sunshine Ace Hardware’s operations and new store development has been led by Jerry Wynn, Don’s son. In 2005, Michael Wynn, Don’s grandson and Jerry’s nephew, became the president of the company. Currently, there are 10 Sunshine Ace Hardware stores and a commercial paint store delivering friendly, helpful service and “Big City” quality, selection, and convenience to Estero, Bonita Springs, Golden Gate, Marco Island, Naples (downtown and East Tamiami Trail) Port Charlotte, Largo, Bradenton, and Lakewood Ranch.

Timeline

Today – The Wynn family continues the tradition of providing the people of Naples, Florida, with so much more than just a great hardware store. Future plans include the opening of four new stores in 2024 and 2025.

2023 – Founders Square store opens.

2019 – Sunshine acquires Crowder Bros. Ace Hardware and Crowder’s Gifts & Gadgets stores in Bradenton and Lakewood Ranch (stores founded in 1955)

2018 – Kings Highway (Port Charlotte) store opens. 

2017 – Largo store opens.

2015 – Port Charlotte store opens.

2015 – Sunshine’s East Naples store moves to its current location, on 4433 Tamiami Trail East in Naples.

2011 – Sunshine Ace Hardware in Naples wins the 2011 “Coolest Hardware Store” award from Ace Hardware Corp.

2007 – East Naples store opens.

2005 – Michael Wynn, Don’s grandson and Jerry’s nephew, becomes President of the company.

2006 – Marco Island store opens.

1999 – San Carlos Park store opens.

1984 – Golden Gate store opens.

1971 – Bonita Springs store opens.

1985 – Jerry Wynn, Don’s son, takes over as President of Sunshine Ace Hardware’s operations and new store development.

1964 – Sunshine joins the Ace Hardware cooperative. Sunshine Ace Hardware is born.

1964 – Sunshine relocates from 4th Avenue to Tamiami Trail in downtown Naples. 

1958 – Don Wynn converts the second market into a full-service hardware store. Sunshine Hardware is born.

1953 – Don Wynn builds a second market that’s double the size of the original, just 50 feet east of the original on 5th Avenue.

1948 – Don Wynn opens Naples’ first modern grocery store on the corner of 7th Street and 5th Avenue South (exactly where Yabba’s Restaurant was located until 2023).

1938 – Peter Parley Wynn and his wife, Vida, move to Naples from Lakeland, FL, and purchase the Bay Dock Hotel, opening a restaurant and a grocery store in half of the hotel building.