Rob Rowe intends to open his seventh Rowe’s IGA Supermarket at noon June 18, joining the busy grocery market in the Baymeadows Deerwood area in Southside.
Rowe bought and renovated the former Winn-Dixie grocery store at 9866 Baymeadows Road for an estimated $10 million.
The city issued a permit Feb. 3 for an almost $1.4 million renovation of the almost 59,000-square-foot store.
Jacksonville-based Rowe's IGA Supermarkets sell groceries, including deli, bakery, seafood, meat and produce departments. There is no pharmacy.
Hours will be 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., the same as his other stores that have resumed regular schedules. Rowe said he hired 100 to 110 people.
The store is next to the Deerwood Marketplace shopping area, where Publix Super Markets Inc. operates a store. Indian marketplace chain Patel Brothers has a store nearby at 9551 Baymeadows Road.
Publix and Winn-Dixie also have stores less than 3 miles east along Baymeadows Road at Interstate 295.
Rowe is positioned for the competition.
“Give the customers what they want when they want it at a price they are willing to pay and offer the best service and an excellent selection,” Rowe, an independent grocer, said June 15.
Rowe stocks his stores to reflect neighborhood tastes and created several aisles of international foods and spices. He offers Asian, European, Central American, South American, Colombian, Peruvian, Caribbean and other foods.
On June 15, contractors, vendors, suppliers and employees stocked shelves, attached décor to the walls and prepared food.
The sign contractor was preparing to lift the letters for the facade.
The former Winn-Dixie was built in 1986 and closed in 2018 as part of the Jacksonville-based Southeastern Grocers Inc. bankruptcy restructuring.
Winn-Dixie and Harveys Supermarket are Southeastern Grocers banners in the area.
Through Rarre LLC, Rowe bought the closed property in February 2019 for $3.7 million.
“We are doing a full remodel replacing everything inside the location, new front, new loading dock, new parking lot” and landscaping, he said previously.
There will be seating for about 60 customers in a cafe area as well as among seating along the front window and at tables outside.
There also will be services and products not offered at other Rowe’s locations.
• Rowe said he is working as a partner with Jacksonville-based Kuhn Flowers for the floral department, which is just inside the front door.
• A kiosk-type presentation near the floral department will make popcorn, caramel corn, cheese corn, cotton candy, candy apples and candies, creating “a little carnival” atmosphere.
• The Rowe's will offer a wider selection of “Rowe's Originals” foods, such as bruschetta and dips. Rowe said the company has been making the products, just not marketing them as much as it will.
• Rowe hired a pastry chef to make desserts, specialty cakes and direct “a full-on bakery.”
• Rowe added a sushi chef and fresh sushi.
• The store will feature an organic foods section.
The store will offer meal kits, meals to go, “a full-on sandwich program,” hot bar food and pizzas from scratch, daily specials at a cooking “event center,” nut-butter grinders and more.
Like his other stores, the Deerwood location is vying for supplies that are hard to find during the pandemic, although the toilet tissue shelves appeared full.
He and other stores find it tougher to find rice, pasta, soups and some cleaning and sanitation supplies because manufacturers aren't producing all of the quantities and sizes in demand.
Dzyneconcepts LLC of Jacksonville is the architect. Williams & Rowe Co. Inc. is the contractor. Rob Rowe is not related to Williams & Rowe.
Rowe’s IGA Supermarkets, operates six stores in west, northwest, north and south Jacksonville and in Orange Park. The IGA brand serves independent grocery chains.
The stores are at 8595 Beach Blvd., 5435 Blanding Blvd., 6765 Dunn Ave., 8299 W. Beaver St.,1670 Wells Road in Orange Park and the newest, a renovated Harveys Supermarket at 1012 Edgewood Ave. N. that opened May 12 in Commonwealth Shopping Center.
Rowe invested more than $3 million into that Northwest Jacksonville store, which he leases, and hired about 90 employees. The city approved incentives for him and the landlord to operate the store in an area underserved by full-service supermarkets.
Southeastern Grocers closed that store, too, in April 2018.