The clanging of silverware, the laughter of children, and the scraping of chairs pushed away from the table to “make room for more” are heard all day long at Fred’s Market Restaurant. If you’re looking for true southern hospitality and delicious country cooking, you’ll find it at any of their four Central Florida locations.
It all started in 1954, when friends and family would enjoy Evelyn Johnson’s delicious meals in a Plant City gas station that would eventually become the first Johnson’s Restaurant. Fast forward to today, and you’ll find a thriving family-owned chain of Fred’s Market stores that still provide the same quality service and great food as they did on day one.
After 50 years of business, Fred’s Market has learned a few things along the way. It’s not always easy to grow a restaurant chain while sticking to family values. Luckily, the owner Fred Johnson gets help from two of his sons as they expand and renovate. When Fred’s Market was ready to renovate the Lakeland location, they needed to free up some capital. Baron Realty was fortunate enough to be able to provide a unique solution for this problem.
A good restaurant is in the business of serving food, not managing real estate. Baron Realty bought the Lakeland-location property from Fred’s Market, and then leased the space back to the restaurant. This is called a “sale-leaseback”, and it provided Fred’s Market with a substantial influx of cash that allowed them to make fantastic upgrades to the Lakeland restaurant.
Fred’s Market doesn’t forget about the community once they plant roots. Each month, every store raffles off a bicycle to a lucky child. Even if you don’t win, kids still eat free on Mondays and Tuesdays! The restaurant also donates meals and gift certificates to teachers in local schools to say thank you for all they do.
There’s always a place for southern cooking and hospitality in Florida, and Fred’s Market is continually looking to expand locations. Thanks to the support of the local community, smart thinking by management, and a little help from Baron Realty, Fred’s Market is thriving and ready for you to stop by for a great meal. Their food is slowly cooked in a natural and unprocessed way, and served in a cozy atmosphere full of warmth and fun. It’s southern comfort served by good people. Come say hello! Here’s a little motivation: