You are here
Home > Community > New, bigger Brighton Trading Post on horizon

New, bigger Brighton Trading Post on horizon

The Brighton Trading Post, seen here in a 2012 photo, has been a part of the community since the 1960s. (File photo)

The Brighton Trading Post on the Brighton Reservation has been a staple of the Seminole community since it opened in the 1960s. Located next to the Brighton RV Resort grounds, it’s undergone different upgrades over the years – fuel pumps have been added and it once housed a laundromat and a Subway restaurant. It received a new digital fuel sign and other enhancements in 2020, but its last major renovation was in 2012.

Late last year, the Seminole Tribe of Florida Inc. became aware of a grant opportunity through the American Rescue Plan’s Indigenous Communities program and applied for $5 million to build a new Trading Post. On Aug. 16, STOF Inc. was notified that it would receive $3.3 million toward a projected $5 million cost. The tribe would contribute the remaining $1.7 million.

“This EDA investment will create economic growth and opportunity for the Brighton Seminole community through the expansion of existing business operations,” Commerce Department Secretary Gina Raimondo said in a statement.

The EDA is the U.S. Economic Development Administration, an agency of the Commerce Department, administering the grant funds.

“[The Trading Post] has been too small for years and years,” Brighton Board Representative Helene Buster said. “We’ve talked about it several times. A lot of people in the surrounding area use it too.”

Plans call for the existing 2,110 square foot Trading Post convenience store to be repurposed into offices for the RV Resort and house a laundry facility and a recreation room. A new 4,700 square foot Trading Post convenience store would be built facing Reservation Road – replacing the current RV Resort offices.

The Trading Post will also feature 10 double-sided fuel dispensers, a 6,000 square foot fuel canopy, three underground fuel tanks with 50,000-gallon capacities, as well as electric vehicle charging stations, new storm drainage and new utility, water and sewer lines. The Subway restaurant that used to be located in the Trading Post closed during the pandemic and there are no plans for its return.

“This project will not only benefit the local community, but will benefit the entire tribe as the Trading Posts have been a profitable operation for the Board,” Golden Johansson, executive director of operations for STOF Inc., said.

Johansson said while there’s not a hard timeline for construction in place yet, a first phase could begin this fall with a second phase launching in the first quarter of 2023. She said under the grant requirements, the tribe has three years to complete the project.

“The increased square footage will allow for more storage on site to restock items needed for the community,” Johansson said. “In the event of hurricanes and storms, this Trading Post also serves as an essential hub for community needs. This store will have a backup generator that will keep the community functioning in times of need.”

The Brighton Reservation, with more than 500 tribal members, is also moving forward on plans for the construction of a new hotel and casino, which would generate more demand for an expanded Trading Post. The reservation is also in the midst of adding 50 new homes to its existing inventory.

Meanwhile, the Immokalee Reservation broke ground last year on what will be its first Trading Post. Plans include 10 fuel pumps, a 7,200 square foot convenience store and electric vehicle charging stations, among other features. It is expected to open sometime this year.

Damon Scott
Damon is a multimedia journalist for the Seminole Tribune. He has previously been an editor and reporter for digital and print media in Florida and his home state of New Mexico. Send him an email at