About six months after Lucky’s Market shuttered its Tyrone Square operations, the property has reopened as Hitchcock’s Green Market.
The store, at 6765 22nd Ave. N., features organic and natural items and many of the same brands Lucky’s carried. “It’s the same experience as Lucky’s but with our own touch,” said Giselle Alvarez, whose family owns Hitchcock’s Markets, an 11-store grocery chain based in Alachua.
Lucky’s filed for bankruptcy earlier this year and Hitchcock’s Markets was the winning bidder for the St. Petersburg store.
“People in this area like the concept of Lucky’s. This location was one of the best Lucky’s locations. That’s why we tried to maintain something very similar,” said Carlos Alvarez, Hitchcock’s CEO and Giselle’s father.
The new Hitchcock’s in St. Petersburg is different than the chain’s other stores. “This is more of a natural concept. Our other stores are conventional products with a hint of natural products. This is mainly natural, green and organic products with a hint of conventional,” Giselle Alvarez said.
Hitchcock’s added 150 feet of shelf space for conventional grocery items in the St. Pete store, so customers wouldn’t have to shop elsewhere for those products.
There have been some challenges in opening during the COVID-19 pandemic, Carlos Alvarez said. Hitchcock’s is using the same suppliers that Lucky’s used, but the suppliers don’t consistently have all the products in stock.
Hitchcock’s has installed “Tell us what you’re thinking” boxes around the store and at checkout counters so customers can suggest products that they would like to see in stock.
The mall location means parking sometimes is tight, but Alvarez isn’t worried about speculation that malls are struggling. He said the family-focused opportunities at Hitchcock’s — kids can eat a pizza in the cafe while their parents sip wine or beer while strolling the aisles, for example — along with continued Lucky’s traditions such as featuring local musicians in the store on the weekends, is a good fit with malls shifting to experiences that go beyond transactional shopping.
The store expects to employ about 120 people and is still hiring, Giselle Alvarez said.
Hitchcock’s Markets is in expansion mode and looking for other opportunities in good locations. It expects to open a store in Homasassa in late July or early August.
Hitchcock’s Green Market had a soft opening on July 9 with a grand opening planned for Saturday, July 18. The store opens at 8 a.m. and the first 100 people in line on Saturday will get $100 gift cards. The first 500 shoppers will get a reusable shopping bag.
Get a first look inside the new store in the photo gallery below.