Fast Buck Freddie's
About Fast Buck Freddie's History
Fast Buck Freddie's was founded in 1976 by Bill Conkle and Tony Falcone. The first store, located at 524 Duval (at Applerouth Lane), was geared to the early restoration crowd who discovered Key West before the tourists. FBF sold fabric, pillows, baskets, rugs, lamps and window coverings that would appeal to the chic restoration tastes. The concept was a hit and we did $22 on our first day!! Expansion soon crowded Bill & Tony out of the stock room where they were living. But they continued to shower under a hose in the backyard of the store!!!
Fast Buck Freddie's Department Store on Duval St. in Key West, Florida
So where did the name 'Fast Buck Freddie's' come from? Well, it was a popular cut fromthe first gold record of the group Jefferson Starship, Red Octopus. Desperate to find an interesting name, Bill & Tony were flipping through record albums for inspiration--and Fast Buck Freddie's, a most unlikely name for a retail store, seemed perfect for South Florida: home of pirates, con artists, real estate sharks, and drug runners. With Key West's salty history, we would be the new pirates in town. We vowed to always contradict our name with the appearance of the store and the merchandise. And the name has been a great success--not only with customers who promote us--but with the media who has lavished attention on us. We enjoy a national and international reputation.
Inside Fast Buck Freddie's Tropical Department Store
During our second year, the old S. H. Kress Dime store closed; and the 15,000 sq. foot building was quickly snapped up by a local entrepreneur. Fast Bucks, expanded to its max, in the small conch house went to the Kress building's new owner to inquire on space. He admired Fast Buck Freddie's and wanted to give us an opportunity. In November of 1978 we opened a further expanded Fast Buck Freddie's in our current location. Although the store was much smaller than it is today; we added cards, stationary, candles, and men's and women's sportswear to increase our repeat local traffic. Suddenly, in the early 1980's others began to discover our island and with the influx of the tourist, Key West and Fast Buck Freddie's prospered. Year by year we knocked out a rear wall here and there and expanded the store to its present size. The store has changed and modified over the years, but some things have never changed:
1. We're fun!
That's why the strange name, our quirky items and our diversified staff.
After all, who else has a department called "Tropical Trash"!
2. Our friendly approach to our customer--always making them feel like our guests
3. Our low key, non-pushing but direct merchandise available sales approach
4. Our attitude that there is nothing we can't do for our customer
5. Our clean, attractive environment
6. Beautiful merchandise at a fair price.