ORLANDO, Fla. — One family's living legacy hasn't missed a beat in the heart of historic Parramore.
- Palmer Feed Store is a staple in Orlando's Parramore community
- Bill Palmer is a 3rd generation Palmer, says store opened in 1947
- Farm-to-table movement has helped cultivate different culture in Orlando
- RELATED: More Orange County headlines
In the hustle and bustle of Orlando, there's a little bit of country on a curious corner at West Church Street and Westmoreland Drive.
At the crack of dawn ahead of customers rolling in, it's feeding time for the animals at Palmer Feed Store.
"We've been selling baby chicks for as long as I can remember. Oh gosh, I started working here in 1980 when I was 12,” said Bill Palmer.
On the outside, Palmer Feed Store has changed a lot over the years, but one thing has not changed — the inside.
Palmer, third generation, says he's watched their family business, which opened in 1947, thrive and grow with the times.
As they say, what was once old is new again. The farm-to-table movement has helped to cultivate a different culture within this urban community.
Palmer pointed to the seeds and said, "A lot of people get these different greens to grow and you plant them now, so they'll be ready for Thanksgiving."
But this timeless treasure almost slipped away.
"The store is different because it burned down in 2011, so it looks a little different now than it did then. It still kind of has that old timey feeling, and we still service the community,” Palmer said.
That community includes Disney.
"We sell chicken wire to Disney, and they shape the topiaries with the chicken wire, and if you went to Thunder Mountain Railroad or Tom Sawyer's Island or Frontier Land, those fence posts come from us,” Palmer explained.
In addition to those unique farm items you usually don't find in the city, they sell bales of hay, push plows, and even pitcher pumps for pumping water out of the ground.
Palmer Feed Store even sells telephone poles, which are always in high demand after hurricanes like the ones in 2004. Bill Palmer told us electric companies use them to help re-establish power on a temporary basis until permanent repairs can be made.
You could say the Palmers built a frontier in Parramore — it's a hidden treasure connecting communities.
"This business has taught me to treat everyone the same, you know, because a dollar purchase to one person could be the same as $1,000 to a company,” he said.
It's one of those building blocks that forms a strong foundation for a resilient community — a community vowing to stay.
"You know I've been working here for 39 years, and I get it now. I'm 51, and it's hard. It's hard work. The bales of hay are heavy. The feed bags are heavy,” Palmer said, laughing. “But yeah there's just not many stores doing this anymore. We're one of the very few."
Customers are the key.
"They may move out of town for 20 years, and when they come back, they'll visit us and just be amazed that we're still here," Palmer says.