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Written by Robert Voss
First off, I’m a big fan of Colonial Photo & Hobby (CPH) in Orlando. So I am kind of bias. I frequently shop there for my photography and model train items. This is the only unique store in Central Florida that is stocked with photography, model train items, radio control cars, modeling building, and much more. Their prices are reasonable on name brand items. Plus, there are some third parties off brand items too.
There is a little history behind their present store location on Mills Avenue in Orlando. Before it was CPH, it used to be a Publix Supermarket Store from approximately1948-1972, which was owned by Jenkins and his wife. The outside of this retail big box small store has not changed much except for the color scheme and store signage since 1973. There is approximately 15,000 square feet of office and retail space. The storefront changes out the window displays periodically featuring usually either camera gear or train merchandise. This store continues to be family owned and operated business.
When arriving at CPH, one will find plenty of free parking. There are 67 parking spaces including handicap vehicle spaces. One can always find a parking space when arriving at CHP. There store hours are Monday – Friday 10am – 7pm, and on Saturday 10am – 6pm. Sorry, they are closed on Sunday. They are located at 634 North Mills Avenue, Orlando, Florida 32803
Once you enter the building, one will notice the photo lab desk with a friendly person greeting you. Then one will have to make a choice which department to shop first. I tend to go to the photo camera area and check out the new and latest model cameras and lenses. The age old question that keeps coming up between Nikon and Canon. Who is the better photography brand. My answer is there both the same because professional use both of these brands out in the field while on assignments. Ask to see some used camera gear too. Prices will vary by condition and model.
Other photo items that CPH carry are photo lab equipment and chemicals, strobes, LED lighting, background paper and cloths, and camera accessories. Most items are in stock. If your looking for something special they may have to order it for you.
I have known many of the sales staff at CPH since I began being a customer in the late 1980’s. Some of the employees are still around today. Once in awhile you will find a now hiring sign, but now often. But overall, many of CPH staff are very loyal store employees. One will always see regular faces at this store. The staff is always giving customers friendly advice on all products and services. They want the customer to be happy.
On the other side of the store is the model train merchandise. There have just about every type of model scale train available from N, HO, O, G, and much more. The major brands they carry are Lionel, Bachmann, etc. One can see a moving model train on the edge of the store’s perimeter. They even have parts for your train set too.
Overall, this is fun store to shop at. If you don’t have a hobby than this is the store to start a new one. It is worth the drive to this store. CPH stands behind their products and services. Their slogan is The Fun just got better. For more information on this store please visit www.cphfun.com.
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