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Green Cove Springs needs a Publix® worse than ever

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In February of 2011, Your Examiner observed that there aren’t enough big grocery stores in GreaterJax™, which is still largely rural – and needs to stay so.

If you’ve seen today’s ‘Money’ in the Florida Times-Union, you’ll know that the Harveys Supermarket in Green Cove Springs is closing May 3.

This on the heels of the sale of the Delhaize Group – which includes Harveys, headquarted in South Carolina – to BI-LO® and Winn-Dixie® supermarkets in May 2013.

One of 13 Harveys stores being shuttered, eight of which are in Florida, the Green Cove Springs store is the only grocery store in the city.

This is not just another story about some tiny little shop going belly-up.

Reports of the closures are running right now in the Jacksonville Business Journal and the Financial News & Daily Record.

Served by a Winn-Dixie well north of town on US 17 and two Publixes on Fleming Island, Green Cove Springs, the county seat of Clay county, is now in a predicament that smallish towns and older neighborhoods all over the country find themselves in.

Blighted urban area?

If you live in a neighborhood or town that doesn’t have convenient, safe places to shop for food (meaning large national grocery store chains), then you live in what’s called an urban food desert.

While urban food deserts are more common in “blighted” areas in around big cities, small towns become the same kind of desert when their grocery store leaves.

Living in the urban food desert is especially hard on people on public assistance, the disabled, elderly and others with limited mobility and public transportation deficits.

See, it’s not just a matter of convenience for busy shoppers.

Why Publix®?

Having shopped at Harveys®, Winn-Dixie®, Kroger® and Safeway® (which has stores in the Panhandle), Your Examiner assures you that Publix® is the pick of the litter in national supermarkets.

And although it’s true that Publix is owned and operated out Lakeland, Fla., being local doesn’t go as far as it used to.

Both BI-LO® and Winn-Dixie are headquartered in Jacksonville.

That’s it’s taken nearly a year for the corporate muckety-mucks to decide which stores, while a new store could have been in the works and ready to open, mean the residents have been crapped on yet again.

As if the closing meant only the jobs of the folks who work at the Green Cove Harveys.

Another 116 locals go on unemployment because BI-LO® and Winn-Dixie® will also close the Delhaize America distribution center at 4627 J.P. Hall Blvd. in Green Cove, when serves 73 Harveys stories in Florida and Georgia .

Quite frankly, no matter what happens, Winn-Dixie will be the last place Your Examiner shops for a good long while.

Where’s the respect? Where’s the love? Where’s the fricking Publix® gonna be in Green Cove Springs?



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OFFICIAL BIO: K Truitt is a second-generation, native Floridian born in Jacksonville. Truitt worked in public higher education for 25 years and knows newspaper publishing, printing and graphic design. Contact:


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