By Sam Prickett
Many retailers claim to offer a “unique shopping experience,” but Mountain Brook’s new GreenWise Market comes closer than most.
The Publix-owned store, which focuses on all-natural and organic products, opened late last month – and it’s one of only a handful of its kind nationwide.
The store took over the Lane Parke location formerly occupied by Western Supermarket, which shut down earlier this year. Western’s Mountain Brook and Vestavia Hills locations were purchased by Publix, with the latter slated to become a 35,000-square-foot Publix Super Market.
But the company had a different concept in mind for Mountain Brook – something the company says is aimed at both “foodies and health-conscious customers.”
GreenWise Market’s focus is on all-natural and organic products, not unlike chains such as Whole Foods or Lucky’s Market. The store, which opened in late June, also offers some prepared foods and an expanded selection of wine and beer.
But the store also is positioning itself as a community hub, said Brenda Reid, Publix’s media and community relations manager. A lounge area, dubbed “Pours,” offers food, drink and a place to work or mingle.
“We have wine on tap, as well as we pour wine for customers who would like to purchase a glass of wine,” Reid said. “We also offer beer in the store, where customers can sit and have a glass of beer, enjoy their surroundings, relax, jump on their computer, listen to music on their headsets.”
The Pours section also will feature non-alcoholic beverages such as coffee, tea, smoothies and kombucha, and it will include food options such as sandwiches and pizza.
“There’s just a variety of things that will just give the community another gathering place within their own neighborhood,” Reid said.
Publix first attempted to roll out the GreenWise concept in 2007, but it halted a year later after building just three such stores in Florida. Many GreenWise products were integrated into the chain’s traditional stores, but the idea of standalone stores didn’t resurface until 2017.
The first new location opened in Tallahassee late last year; a Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, location opened in May. Mountain Brook is the third new location of the resurrected concept. Seven more new locations are planned throughout the Southeast, according to the company’s website.
Reid said the Mountain Brook location was chosen partially because of its proximity to other Publix stores in the area.
“What we have found is, there are customers who shop at multiple stores, and this gives us an opportunity to offer products that those customers want while still offering them the convenience of having a Publix not too far away,” she said.
Mountain Brook’s new GreenWise Market is located at 1000 Jemison Lane.