At Andy Thornal Company we have a passion for adventure that makes itself known in every department. Clothing, footwear and equipment born of function and merging with a lifestyle we can enjoy every day has become our trademark.
Inspired by our interest in travel, angling, camping, sailing, hunting, aviation, riding, skiing and safari we have created a selection of goods to fit any occasion. From trekking in the Himalayas to boardrooms world wide, our collections combine quality, value, function, tradition and a heritage of adventurous lifestyle.
We can't forget to mention our fine jewelry collection with names such as Roberto Coin as well as an excellent selection of estate pieces and travel jewelry. Our on-site goldsmith and custom design studio is always ready to help create your masterpiece - Bring in your jewelry for cleaning or repair.
GATEWAY TO ADVENTURE SINCE 1945
Many customers have been with us since our doors first opened. But every day new customers ask about the store – why it is the way it is, how it became what it is – in short, what it’s all about.
The year was 1945. Around the world, peace finally reigned. To the relief of GIs, demobilization was in full swing. Among those who celebrated were two soldiers who saw mounds of material about to be declared government surplus. They figured it would be a good way to launch a retail business. A few months into 1945 they opened shop at 336 Magnolia Avenue – downtown Winter Haven – under the water tower.
The Army-Navy Store, as it was called, was soon stacked ceiling high with army cots, jungle hammocks, GI mess kits, uniforms from all branches, bunk beds, army blankets, foot lockers, goggles, machetes wall tents, Lister bags – even a jeep or two. Prosperity and the reputation of surplus as high-quality goods made business boom .
As the years progressed toward the 60's, genuine surplus became less and less available and The Army Surplus Store, as it had been known, was almost a thing of the past. And this was pretty much the situation when Andy Thornal took over in 1961.
So when surplus, which had meant quality – getting your moneys worth, faded out, other items were added and soon the business became the place for work and casual clothes, shoes, boots and camping equipment.
In the following years, whatever was stocked was there because customers asked for it, and what the customer wanted most was high quality, value and uniqueness. The actual dollar amount of an item seemed to not matter much as long as there was a foundation in value – in good materials, workmanship, fit and style. Of course, the store has always known that our customers want personal service, and that’s what they still want – and get.
So when you walk through the doors and see everything from the unexpected and unusual to the highly traditional – and have trouble categorizing the mix – it’s the result of having a close relationship with our customers over the years and letting them tell us what they expect.