Daffy Doug’s celebrates 2nd Anniversary
On May 23, 2009 the grand opening of a discount dollar store ushered in a new era of retail in the Middle Keys. Only two years ago, the remote fishing village relied on places like Kmart, Beall’s, Radio Shack and Publix for essential supplies. Even with the advent of the Internet, shipping costs drove the price of goods far beyond the reach of the fiscally conservative residents.
That was before Daffy Doug’s Discount Dollar Store moved into 2900 Overseas Highway.
Walking through the lawn and garden section, Daffy Doug Austin points to various items packed on his store’ shelves.
“Almost all of this stuff is only a dollar,” he says. “$1.99 for Cutter. This is a sick price.”
Other bargain items include grill brushes, lotions, Aunt Jemima maple syrup, Winnie the Pooh backpacks, razors, mini roulette tables and classic DVDs like Pressure Point and When a Dinosaur Grows Up.
On the expensive end, Daffy sells a Penn Rod and Reel Combo for $300. The least expensive item is a packet of pickle salt for 10 cents. Dollar items include pregnancy tests, catnip, ovulation predictors, water monkeys and ten yards of high-end grey duct tape.
“You can get three times a much for $1.99,” says Daffy, motioning to the various colors. “For your upholstery.”
After just two short years in operation, the discount super-store has doubled in size – adding a discount grocery, discount marine, and discount tackle shop under the 10,000 sq. ft. roof.
And 20,000 items are a dollar or less.
This Memorial Day weekend, Daffy is blowing out a surplus of BBQ tools.
“See that $5 brush?” says Daffy Doug. “It’s a buck.”
The store is also open at 6 am for the angler looking to score a 10-pound bag of ice ($1.50), live pinfish ($0.75), a pack of Marlboros ($4.99) and pack of lemon/lime salt ($0.10).
Daffy is quick to point out that nearly all the items in the store are, “the cheapest in the county.”
Whether it is for low prices or the hard-to-find items like Teaberry Gum, real edible bugs or frozen White Castle burgers, a Daffy Doug shopper is a happy shopper.
As he climbed into his Mercedes Benz, one anonymous Daffy Doug’s patron said, “I just don’t like getting dressed up to go shopping.”