Business

A Publix supermarket on a college campus? Florida gets its first such store.

Early-morning shoppers gathered on Dec. 6, 2018, as Publix opened its first supermarket on a main college campus at the University of South Florida in Tampa.
Early-morning shoppers gathered on Dec. 6, 2018, as Publix opened its first supermarket on a main college campus at the University of South Florida in Tampa. Tampa Bay Times

The decades-long wait to make “shopping a pleasure” on the same grounds as classes, dorms and the University of South Florida’s student center is already delighting students and faculty, the Tampa Bay Times reported.

“Not beside, not across the street, but on our campus,” USF President Judy Genshaft said of the on-site supermarket chain that, she said, has been on “students’ request lists for years.”

She called it a “change-maker” in the community.

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(From left) Jessica Dwyer, a Publix customer service team leader assists USF Bulls cheerleader Haley Ayrsman, 20, and USF mascot ‘Rocky the Bull’ during the grand opening of the Publix on USF’s campus in Tampa. On Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018, Publix opened its first supermarket on a main college campus at the University of South Florida in Tampa. Jones, Octavio Tampa Bay Times

True, many Florida colleges can boast of nearby Publix supermarkets.

In South Florida alone there are Publix grocery stores either across the street from, or within easy walking or biking distance of, major colleges and universities. The Lakeland-based chain has stores near the University of Miami in Coral Gables on Monza Avenue, Florida International University at University Park Center on Southwest 107th Avenue, and Miami Dade College in Kendall Mall, also on Southwest 107th Avenue.

A Publix opened two blocks from the University of Florida campus in 2017, too.

USF is leasing the 28,000-square-foot store to Publix for 25 years and currently 50 of the 140 employees are university students, WFTS ABC Action News reported.

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Miami Herald Real Time/Breaking News reporter Howard Cohen, a 2017 Media Excellence Awards winner, has covered pop music, theater, health and fitness, obituaries, municipal government and general assignment. He started his career in the Features department at the Miami Herald in 1991.
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