Native Sun Sets Date to Reopen in Jacksonville Beach

Native Sun Sets Date to Reopen in Jacksonville Beach

JACKSONVILLE BEACH, FL - After announcing its closure last August, the residents of Florida missed the three-store chain. However, it seems like Floridians were eager to bring Native Sun stores back, so Owner and Founder Aaron Gottlieb ran a pop-up restaurant to appease the locals. Apparently the pop-up was a huge success because Gottlieb recently announced that Native Sun Natural Foods Market will reopen its Jacksonville Beach location.

Aaron Gottlieb, Owner and Founder, Native Sun Natural Foods Market“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.”

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.”

The success of Aaron Gottlieb's pop-up restaurant helped Native Sun make a return to Jacksonville Beach

Gottlieb attributed the previous closures to an increase in specialty grocers in the market. In November, Gottlieb teased he would be reopening Native Sun, but only in Jacksonville Beach.

“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.”

Gottlieb further commented on how the market has changed, but so did his perception on the competition.

The Native Sun store now offers a restaurant, grab-and-go area, and a full-service salad and soup bar

“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.”

With the new independent store, I’m sure the natives of Jacksonville Beach are more than happy to get their natural grocer again.

“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,” Gottlieb said.

For more updates in the fresh produce world, keep an eye out for AndNowUKnow.

Native Sun Natural Foods Market