She Sells Sea Shells turned a tongue-twister and Sanibel’s shelling reputation into a family-owned and -operated business in 1976. After opening more stores on the islands – up to five at one point – the iconic shell shop brand suffered from Hurricane Ian, but has reopened its flagship shop at 1157 Periwinkle Way. A Dec. 7 SanCap Chamber ribbon-cutting dedicated the occasion.

“The Joffe family are proud to have a positive impact on Sanibel Island,” said Tamara Joffe. “Giving back to the community is a core value of She Sells Sea Shells, and has been an ongoing practice for its 48-plus successful years on Sanibel.”

Anne Joffe, the “ she” in She Sells Sea Shells, and her husband, David, originally founded the store. They and their son Michael, store co-owner/manager, and daughter Tamara currently operate it as they continue its restoration following severe damage from wind and 5 feet of flood water.

“We put up metal storm shutters in the front glass, windows, and door before we evacuated, and the force of the water broke the glass and pushed shells out from under the metal into the parking lot,” said Tamara. “We had wind and water damage in the back wall of our upstairs office that caused water to pour through the ceiling in the back of our store, and the ceiling came down.”

Their warehouse off-island also flooded, and the family laundered and donated much of their clothing stock. While restoring the Periwinkle Way shop on their own, they unofficially opened to the public for the Fourth of July, due to the curiosity of visitors who were stopping by.

“[Restoration] was a daunting task, and a symbol of hope for our family and the community,” said Michael. “People tell us every day how it inspires them, and encourages other businesses to re-open. We were committed to continuing on and reopening for our employees, who all expressed interest in returning. We greatly appreciate the support of the chamber and all they have done to restore the island.”

“We are so happy to formally welcome She Sells She Shells back to the islands,” said SanCap Chamber president and CEO John Lai. “It just wouldn’t be Sanibel without the Joffe family providing this iconic opportunity to buy seashells, jewelry, books, craft supplies, novelties, and, especially this time of year, their treasured Christmas ornaments.”


The Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce is dedicated to promoting the prosperity of its members and preserving the quality of life of our community. The Chamber plays a key role in facilitating communication and cooperation between business, residents, and government to enhance the economic health of the islands. Its website,, receives over 1.3 million visits per year. For more information about the chamber, visit or contact John Lai, president and CEO, at 239-472-2348 or [email protected].