Lakeland foodies are a-buzz about the soon-to-open GreenWise Market going up in South Lakeland. Publix Supermarkets is slated to open a new location of their smaller chain of grocery stores focusing on organic, specialty, and traditional grocery items in the swan city this December. The grand opening date is still to be announced.
GreenWise was launched by Publix in 2008 with three locations in Palm Beach, Boca Raton, and Downtown Tampa. To better serve their customers’ needs Publix launched a reiteration of GreenWise Markets, scaling them down from full-sized roughly 45,000 square feet stores to under 30,000 square feet. The Lakeland location will be more than 25,000 square feet.
“It is very much about a food experience,” said Manager of Media and Community Relations and Public Affairs for Publix, Brian West about the GreenWise Market concept. “Customers coming into the new iteration of GreenWise are going to notice a completely different look to the store, it’s got a different feel.” More than a grocery stop, West described GreenWise as a place that you’d want to hang out and stay awhile – a community space.
Around the Store
The store is divided into five departments – POURS, EATS, CUTS, FINDS, and CARE.
Thank goodness their carts have cup holders! In the POURS section, shoppers can enjoy kombucha on tap, fruit smoothies, locally roasted brewed coffee, craft beer, wine, acai bowls, and more. Shoppers can sit and chill or take their beverages while they check off their grocery list around the store.
Find something to fill your belly in the EATS section of the market with a variety of prepared foods. “You would have a tough time walking through that section and not buying something because everything looks amazing,” said West. You can find a bit of everything delicious here from grab and go items, chef’s selections, and made-to-order offerings. Get Instagram-worthy pasta, burrito, and Asian bowls made in front of you, pizza made with organic cheeses, or artisan sandwiches. This area also has a selection of house-smoked meats like turkey breast and brisket. Guests can construct a salad or pick up sushi, wings and other appetizers in the Fresh Bar. If you’ve got a craving that only cookies and croissants will satisfy, they have baked goods too!
GreenWise lives up to its organic and specialty-food focused reputation by using ingredients like cheese made with milk from cows not given synthetic hormones and meats raised with no antibiotics or added hormones, according to their website.
That thoughtfulness continues into the CUTS section with meats raised with no antibiotics or added hormones, fresh, never-frozen fish, and sustainably sourced seafood. CUTS is home to up to 42 variations of house-made sausage like chile lime, sriracha, sage, and more. Thick cut bacon with flavors like brown sugar and pepper also line the shelves. Traditional meat offerings like burgers and steaks are available as well.
Curating a cheese board for a soiree or trying to find the perfect pinot to pair with your Porterhouse? Peruse the FINDS section. Specialty cheeses from around the world, olives, antipasti – whatever you need for a crowd-pleasing cheese board – they have it. FINDS boasts specialty beer and 6000 varieties of wine ranging from an after-work pick-me-up to a special occasion bottle.
Shoppers need not worry about staring aimlessly into the wine abyss. “You’ll also find someone in that section of the store that’s there to help you pair those items up,” said West.
Specialty health and beauty like vitamins, nutritional items, aromatherapy, homeopathic remedies, and personal care products are in the CARE area of the market. There, you’ll find some featured brands that practice sustainable sourcing, use organic or plant-based ingredients and are cruelty-free.
When it’s time to check-out, items will be placed in paper bags with handles – not plastic.
From the color-scheme and to the way items are displayed and department names, down to the polished concrete floors – GreenWise looks to bring a shopping experience unlike anything else in Lakeland.
Each GreenWise location has a seating section either inside or outside of the market. The Lakeland location will have a mostly outside seating area complete with fans, televisions, and even an area with AstroTurf grass where patrons can play cornhole, according to West.
The store will feature a community board detailing what’s coming up, from cornhole tournaments to taste testings. A working cistern at the market will capture rainwater that will be used to grow lettuce and basil in raised beds at the front of the store.
“It’s a completely different grocery shopping experience than what you’ve seen anywhere else,” said West. “The food is what’s on display – the food is the star of the show.”
Keeping it Local
That community vibe isn’t just one fabricated in the building’s design and layout, but in GreenWise’s focus on local as well. “Each GreenWise store is there to focus what’s happening locally. We’re selling items that are important to our customers, but we also want to be a reflection of the communities that we are serving,” said West.
The store will don a large mural depicting Lakeland landmarks by local artists Bump Galletta and Fred Koehler and feature some local brands and vendors .
“We haven’t done anything like this in the Lakeland area, ever,” said West. “You want to shop this store.”
Where: across the street from Publix at Lake Miriam Square
When: December 2019