Jacksonville, Fla. – A new Winn-Dixie officially opened its doors Wednesday morning in the Gateway Town Center with a grand opening ceremony and ribbon cutting.
Hundreds of shoppers gathered early Wednesday in a line that wrapped around the building.
The first 500 customers Wednesday received a free mystery gift card with a value between $5 and $500. They also received a reusable tote bag. In addition, the first 300 customers received a rose to celebrate Valentine’s Day.
Winn-Dixie took over the building after Publix closed its doors late last year, creating a food desert in the Brentwood neighborhood. Winn-Dixie started renovations early this year and updated the indoor and outdoor signage.
“As you know, we’re headquartered here in Jacksonville. This is our hometown, and I couldn’t think of anything more special we could do to invest back into the Brentwood community," said Anthony Hucker, president and CEO of Southeastern Grocers, Winn-Dixie’s parent company.
The store will offer a new farm-fresh produce department, a deli, grab-and-go meal options, gluten-free and organic options, along with several other enhancements.
During construction, the Winn-Dixie Foundation partnered with Feeding Northeast Florida to hold free, weekly food distributions in the Brentwood neighborhood. Roughly 90,000 meals were distributed to 9,500 Northwest Jacksonville residents, including 3,200 kids in need.
The grocer will hold a community celebration at the store from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. The celebration will include entertainment, interactive games, cooking demonstrations and children’s activities. There will be a $100 gift card giveaway every 30 minutes.