Winn-Dixie cuts ribbon on grocery store for next generation


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Mayor Lenny Curry, celebrities and local business leaders were all on hand to cut the ribbon of the Winn-Dixie at Baymeadows Road and Interstate 295 that the Jacksonville-based grocery store chain called its "next generation store."

Inside the store there's a sushi bar, coffee shop and a full kitchen with lots of hot food choices, including wings and fresh handmade pizza -- which you can take home or eat in the store.

These are a few things that Southeastern Grocers' CEO Ian Mcleod said that customers want.

"The customer is looking for something special," Mcleod said. "A lot of our customers don't have a lot of time to go shopping, so we want to find solutions for them. Many solutions; meal solutions."

You can buy it prepared or you can cook it yourself. Right across from the hot food is a huge produce department that grabs your attention.

One customer said she loves it there.

"My favorite part is the fresh fruits and vegetables," says Sandra Rand.

That's also chef Curtis Stone's favorite section. He is working with Winn-Dixie to create affordable, healthy, fresh recipes for all the stores.  Stone wanted to see this one in person.

"Winn Dixie is a chain of supermarkets that has this real belief of product, freshness, the ethical sourcing of ingredients and also bringing inspiration to their customers so I fit into that very easily," Stone said.

He wasn't the only recognizable face in the crowd. Curry was also there to cut the ribbon because he believes in investing in businesses that invest in Jacksonville.

"What's encouraging for me about this is the rich history that Winn-Dixie has in Jacksonville, Southeastern Grocers recognized the Jacksonville market and continues to invest in a really big way,"  Curry said.

Winn-Dixie said it's also invested in bringing good quality food at a price everyone can afford. There's a large organic section, aisles of wine and locally produced food and beverages. It also recently reduced the prices of thousands of everyday items in the store. The CEO said all of this doesn't come at the expense of the customer.

"When we did our research we found customers feel they're spending too much on their groceries no matter where they shop, and we wanted to do something about that," Mcleod said.

Mcleod said the prices are staying down because even with a shiny, new, innovative store, if the price isn't right people won't come. 

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