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Starbucks opens cafe inside Publix store in South Tampa, and more are coming

Starbucks opens cafe inside Publix store in South Tampa, and more are coming

  • It’s the first Starbucks to open inside a Publix store in Tampa Bay, and only the second to open in the Publix chain, spokesman Brian West said.
  • Starbucks opens cafe inside Publix store in South Tampa, and more are coming 01/17/17 [Last modified: Tuesday, January 17, 2017 11:33am] Photo reprints | Article reprints
  • A cafe that already exists inside the Tampa Publix store was replaced by the Starbucks.
  • Lucky’s Market is scouting sites in Tampa Bay.
  • TAMPA – Shoppers can now sip a Starbucks latte while they browse the aisles at the Publix grocery store in the Gandy Shopping Center.

TAMPA — Shoppers can now sip a Starbucks latte while they browse the aisles at the Publix grocery store in the Gandy Shopping Center.

@TB_Times: Starbucks opens cafe inside Publix store in South Tampa, and more are coming

TAMPA — Shoppers can now sip a Starbucks latte while they browse the aisles at the Publix grocery store in the Gandy Shopping Center.

Publix opened a Starbucks kiosk inside the supermarket at 3615 W Gandy Blvd. on Tuesday morning. It’s the first Starbucks to open inside a Publix store in Tampa Bay, and only the second to open in the Publix chain, spokesman Brian West said.

More Starbucks are expected to be rolled out at other Publix stores as part of a new pilot program the Lakeland-based grocer is testing, West said. That could lead to “dozens more” openings in Tampa Bay area stores.

The cafe is staffed by Publix employees, though they received the same barista certification and training as any other Starbucks employee.

A cafe that already exists inside the Tampa Publix store was replaced by the Starbucks. The Starbucks cafe in Publix operates in a similar fashion to those shoppers see in stores such as Target, Safeway, or even some Macy’s stores.

A Target store adjacent to the Publix in the Gandy Shopping Center does not have a competing Starbucks inside, but there is a full-line Starbucks store with a drive-thru in the same plaza.

Publix employees gathered at 7 a.m. Tuesday morning for a ribbon-cutting ceremony when the cafe opened. A few customers streamed inside and got in line.

The first Starbucks kiosk opened in a Publix in Winter Park earlier this month.

“There were a couple hundred people in line to check it out,” West said.

Read More: Take a look inside the Safeway grocery store in Largo, Publix’s newest competition

The move by Publix to add an amenity such as Starbucks to its stores comes at a time when the Florida grocer is facing more competition than ever. Safeway made its debut in Florida earlier this year by opening three stores, including one in Largo. That store also has a Starbucks cafe inside. Lucky’s Market is scouting sites in Tampa Bay. The organic grocer allows shoppers to sip beer, wine and other beverages from its in-house cafe while they shop. Some Whole Foods Markets are debuting wine and craft beer bars in their stores as well.

Read More: The new Winn-Dixie in South Tampa doesn’t look like a Winn-Dixie, and that’s by design

The recently renovated Winn-Dixie in Tampa’s Hyde Park neighborhood has a cafe inside that serves locally brewed Kahwa Coffee.

Contact Justine Griffin at jgriffin@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8467. Follow @SunBizGriffin.

Starbucks opens cafe inside Publix store in South Tampa, and more are coming

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