The specialty, natural and organic store is the first of at least two in St. Johns County.
Publix Super Markets Inc. opened its first Northeast Florida GreenWise Market at 7 a.m. June 20 in Nocatee Town Center in St. Johns County.
GreenWise is Publix's specialty, natural and organic foods and products brand.
“We're thrilled to offer a brand new product not just to Nocatee but to Northeast Florida,” said Riley Skinner, vice president of Jacksonville-based Skinner Bros. Realty.
Skinner Bros. Realty is developing the Nocatee retail center with The PARC Group, Nocatee’s master developer.
“We’re happy to be a part of it,” Skinner said. “We're particularly happy to be the first one in Northeast Florida.”
Lakeland-based Publix already operates a 55,000-square-foot supermarket in Nocatee Town Center and opened the 25,150-square-foot GreenWise Market across the street at 250 Pine Lake Drive. The GreenWise Market has about 145 employees.
Nocatee is in Ponte Vedra.
The Nocatee store is the ninth GreenWise Market and its fifth in Florida. GreenWise opened three this week, including in Marietta, Georgia, on June 17 and in Odessa on June 18.
The GreenWise store is divided into zones.
• Produce: For fruits and vegetables.
• Cuts: Meats raised without antibiotics or added hormones and for sustainably sourced seafood
• Eats: Made-to-order and grab-and-go foods that include a burritos and bowls bar, pizza and hot foods.
• Finds: Wines and cheeses.
• Cares: Health and wellness products.
• Pours: Coffee, smoothies, craft beers and wine served in a cafe setting. Customers can drink the beverages as they shop.
GreenWise Market manager Leslie Anderson greeted customers upon opening at 7 a.m. Hours are 7 a.m.-9 p.m. daily.
Customers filled the market upon opening with more arriving within the first hour. GreenWise extensively staffed the store to assist customers, especially areas that previously were designed for self-service.
Staff filled customer containers for wings, salads and other foods that shoppers previously handled individually pre-COVID-19.
Staff wore personal protective equipment, and customers were encouraged to practice social distancing. Like at Publix stores, there were directional signs for the aisles.
Many customers wore masks. High-touch areas were sanitized regularly.
Each GreenWise Market features a mural by a local artist. The Nocatee GreenWise Market is home to a still-life by Shawn Meharg that shows ingredients and kitchen tools on a counter.
“GreenWise Market is a place to find great food in a relaxed environment,” said Publix President Kevin Murphy in a news release.
GreenWise opened its first store in October 2018 in Tallahassee after it tested a version of the concept years before. It intends to open another area store in 2021 in St. Augustine near Florida 16 and International Golf Parkway at World Commerce Center.
It has not announced plans for a Duval County store nor commented on speculation that it might consider the closed Lucky's Market space it took over in Neptune Beach.
That location is also near a full-line Publix supermarket.
Publix operates more than 1,250 stores in seven Southeastern states – Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.
Riley Skinner and Skinner Bros. Realty executives Chip Skinner and Chet Skinner; Nocatee developer Roger O’Steen, founder and chairman of The PARC Group; and Jed Davis of the Davis family, which owns Nocatee land and other properties, joined the dozens of shoppers waiting for the opening.
One of two ribbon-cuttings before the GreenWise Market opened at 7 a.m. June 20 featured Skinner Bros. Realty Vice President Riley Skinner, cutting the ribbon; flanked by, from left, Jed Davis, president and CEO of DDI Inc., Davis Family Office; Roger O'Steen, founder and Chairman of The PARC Group; Joe Muhl, PARC senior vice president; Leslie Anderson, store manager; Scott McGee, district manager of Publix Super Markets Inc.; and Michael O'Steen, PARC director of planning and development.