Almost a year ago Thorntons Inc. announced its expansion into the Florida regional metro market, evidence of which now is apparent at the corner of Brandon Boulevard (State Road 60) and Lithia Pinecrest Road.
There, across the street from the Oaks Bar & Grill, a Thorntons gas and convenience store is taking shape in place of a previous gas station and car wash.
A red sign alerting motorists of the development includes a welcome to join the Thorntons team by visiting www.thorntonsinc.com.
According to a company news release dated April 11, the expansion into the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater market was to include the first location, in Clearwater, and to add "15 to 20" stores "in the next three years."
"Currently established throughout the Midwest and Mid-South, this is the company's first forray into a new metro/state region since Nashville, Tenn., in 2007," the report notes. With the expansion, Thorntons will be in business in six states.
Thorntons was founded in 1971 by Kentucky natives James H. Tornton. The company reportedly has more than $2.3 billion in revenue and is billed as "the largest privately held corporation in the commonwealth of Kentucky."