Despite announcing its closure last August, Native Sun Natural Foods Market is back to bring the locals of Florida all natural food products. Last week, Owner and Founder Aaron Gottlieb announced that the three-store chain will reopen its Jacksonville Beach location.
“We are excited about this, we are ready—the team is ready,” Gottlieb said. “It’s a little different than opening up a new store and turning things on for the first time. I’m trying not to focus on ‘we’re reopening a grocery in a heated market.’ Instead, we’re opening up a community business that is meant to serve our marketplace and in the community that we’re in."
According to the Jacksonville Business Journal, the location will offer many of the same services it previously offered but will be including an in-store restaurant instead of Native Sun’s deli. Gottlieb added that a grab-and-go area and a full-service salad and soup bar are other changes to the past model.
“We really right-sized our foodservice; there are favorites that will stay and there [are] some items that we loved but just didn’t fit into the model anymore,” Gottlieb said. “We’ll have to answer to our customers, but we believe it’s the right thing for our total model.”
Native Sun had previously staged a comeback in November after returning as a pop-up restaurant, a unique move that appears to have paid off with the grocer's shoppers.
“I have no desire to be a chain,” Gottlieb said. “Part of the reason that we’ll be able to have success in this endeavor is that we don’t need a headquarters—the owner is able to work in the store rather than out of an office.”
Around the same time Native Sun announced its pop-up endeavor, Gottlieb teased a possible reopening of the retailer's grocery operation as well. At the time of its closure last August, Gottlieb attributed the chain's shuttering to an increase in specialty grocers in the market.
“You know, I used to pass grocery stores and think of them as competitors,” Gottlieb said. “Now I pass grocery stores and I go look at all those people competing against each other. We’re here to put a smile on people’s faces.”
As the grocery retail market continues to stay hot, Deli Market News will continue to keep its finger on the pulse.