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A grocery store owner is proud of his quality work.

Beyond the Grocery Store

September 9, 2019

Article originally published in I4 Business Magazine.

How Central Florida Store Services Keeps it Fresh No Matter What

A frequent visitor to the state of Florida, hurricanes tend to be an existing threat to our power grid. When the power goes out, everything gets a little more uncomfortable. In our homes, we are worrying about our comfort. We have no air conditioning, TV or sometimes running water. We also have to worry about how much food might spoil depending on the length of the power outage. Losing a hundred dollars worth of food would really be an inconvenience for us.

Now think about grocery stores, convenience stores and any other establishment tasked with keeping food and drink cold for us- the consumer. When disaster strikes, companies like Central Florida Store Services make sure that when your refrigerator goes out, you can drive up to your local grocery or convenience store and drink something cold and refreshing to drink.

Central Florida Store Services was started in 2003 by Eric Horine. Taking his experience and knowledge from Orlando Refrigeration, a company that was acquired twice during his tenure, Eric started out by building cabinets for brick and mortar businesses. Over the next few years, he added refrigeration services on the way to 35 employees and his first big client- Albertson’s grocery store. Through steady leadership and quality work, Central Florida Store Services grew to be a success. Sometimes, however, life throws you a curve ball.

The Collapse

In 2007-2008, the economy took a major hit leaving many businesses with the unfortunate task of reducing costs to keep the doors open. Central Florida Store Services was no exception and Eric was forced to get creative. He expanded services to include general construction as well as air condition and heating. This innovative pivot landed some pretty renowned clients including Winn Dixie, Sweetbay Supermarket, Burger King, NASA, and UCF Science Lab.

Not all businesses were able to pivot so quickly and gain success. Many had to lay off staff to stay afloat. Eric Horine had a different philosophy to maintaining and growing success. The people that helped your company grow during the successful times are the same that will weather the storm with you when times are tough. Central Florida Store Services kept their employees on salary even when the company wasn’t making a profit. He hired his son, Brian Horine, and together they dug themselves out of the hole.

The Next Generation

Brian had always been a part of his father’s business. He remembers running around with his father 16 years ago on various jobs, soaking up as much knowledge as he could. Since then Brian has worked all over the store services industry including Orlando Refrigeration, Hussmann and Ingersoll Rand. He worked in every facet of the industry from service technician to client management to project manager. Brian had entered Central Florida Store Services as a veteran and an asset to the company.

In 2015, Eric decided to retire and passed the baton to Brian. Since that time, Brian has continued to grow the company with the same philosophy of quality work, steady leadership and a passion for the industry.

“When you do something you are passionate about, you are sure to get great outcomes because you put your heart into it!” said Brian. “My advice? Whatever you do make sure it’s something you are passionate about. There’s no better feeling than when I see that satisfied smile on a client’s face when they see our finished work.”

That passion and determination for quality has netted even more brand name clients including Subway, Gator’s Dockside, Heathrow Country Club among many others. He has a continued commitment to his employees, striving for a fun, family-friendly work environment.

“I feel it’s critical to, not only get to know your employees, but their families too. If you show you care about them, their loyalty to you and the company will be there. It’s been inspiring to see how much we can achieve when many team members feel a sense of ownership in our continued success.”

A Bright Future Ahead

Simply stating that the future will be great is not the same as taking the steps to accomplish the feat. Brian attained his mechanical license as well as national incident management and fire inspection certifications, so that he and his employees can be ready for any client need or problem that arises.

“When you do something you’re passionate about, you are sure to get great outcomes because you put your heart into it.” Brian Horine

Central Florida Store Services has also introduced a refreshed brand look complete with a new website and reimagined logo. With his eye on the entire Southeast, Brian wanted to develop a look and feel that could put Central Florida Store Services’ best foot forward with any client in any location.

Today, the company makes sure the infrastructure of our retail food sources is always in place to sustain our way of life. So the next time your power goes out at home or you’re searching for the milk jug with the latest possible expiration date, know that businesses like Central Florida Store Services make it possible for your favorite grocery to be ready to serve you.