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Immokalee Trading Post opens for business

The Immokalee Trading Post features fuel pump stations and a 7,200 square foot store. (Beverly Bidney)

IMMOKALEE — The long-awaited Immokalee Trading Post opened for business Oct. 28.

The idea for the Trading Post had been percolating at the Seminole Tribe of Florida Inc. (STOFI) for about 10 years before ground was finally broken in May 2021.

“It’s awesome,” said tribal member Mary Lou Alvarado, of Immokalee. “We don’t have to go to town anymore. It’s a great asset to the community and to the tribe.”

Historic photos depicting daily life of the tribe are located on the walls flanking one of the entrances, thanks to the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum. The images were taken by William and Edith Boehmer in the late 1930s and early 1940s on the Brighton Reservation.

Located on Immokalee Road between the main entrance to the reservation and the Seminole Immokalee Casino Hotel, the Trading Post has two canopies with gas tanks; one in the front for cars, vans and small trucks and one in the back for recreational vehicles and semi-trucks.

There are six dual-sided pumps in the front which allows 12 vehicles to be fueled at any given time. In the back, there are four dual-sided pumps that feature high flow diesel, Rec90 and DEF.

The 7,200 square foot store has all the conveniences customers would expect such as beverages, snacks, coffee and freshly made food to go. There is an octagonal point of sale counter in the center of the store, a beer cave and a designated tobacco and lottery counter.

The Trading Post works with the casino and accepts players points for gas and items. A unique feature of the store that is not visible to guests is how products are delivered inside. To avoid the disruption of pallets and dollies being moved throughout the store, it has a loading zone adjacent to the storage room and cooler with doors that lead directly to the floor.

“This creates a better overall guest experience even when the store is being replenished, and our vendors seem to love it,” said Golden Johansson, STOFI executive director of operations. “We’ll be looking to implement this feature in future builds as well since it’s proven to be successful.”

In addition to the Immokalee property, STOFI also operates the Trading Posts on the Brighton and Hollywood reservations, all under the Seminole Trading Post umbrella.

An employee of the Immokalee Trading Post replenishes the fresh food area. (Beverly Bidney)
Mary Lou Alvarado checks out at the register as Juliza Martinez rings up the order. (Beverly Bidney)
The Immokalee Trading Post is located on Immokalee Road, one of the main roads in town. (Beverly Bidney)
Beverly Bidney
Beverly Bidney has been a reporter and photographer for The Seminole Tribune since 2012. During her career, she has worked at various newspapers around the country including the Muskogee Phoenix in Oklahoma, Miami Herald, Associated Press, USA Today and other publications nationwide. A NAJA award winning journalist, she has covered just about everything over the years and is an advocate for a strong press. Contact her at