Documents have been filed with the city to demolish part of the South Beach Regional Shopping Center and add over 13,000 square feet at the end of the strip mall on the corner of Butler Boulevard and A1A. This site was identified as the potential site of choice for a new Trader Joe’s specialty grocer by the Jacksonville Business Journal.
Trader Joe’s is a California-based specialty grocer that offers products free of GMO’s or antibiotics. They specialize in hard-to-find, innovative products like “Gluten Free Jo-Jo’s” and “South African Smoke.” Employees wear Hawaiian shirts and communicate by ringing a bell when an additional open register or a manager is needed.
Neighborhood involvement is a priority, and every Trader Joe’s has a donation coordinator to oversee the donation of unsold product to local food banks and soup kitchens. They also donate gift baskets to community-sponsored events like health fairs or silent auctions for charity.
Trader Joe’s has a cult-like following that started on the West Coast and has made it’s way across the country. Currently, the closest Trader Joe’s is located in Gainesville, Florida. Other locations opening soon in Florida include Tallahassee and Pinecrest.
Exactly when this might take place is still unclear, but the filing of renovation plans is a step in the right direction. Local sources have reported that the store would open in time for the holidays next year, however corporate public relations for Trader Joe’s has yet to confirm that the store would open in October 2014.