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Shoppers flocked to Thursday’s highly anticipated grand opening of Lakeland’s first GreenWise Market, a specialty brand of Publix Super Markets.

LAKELAND — There’s a new player on the scene-stealing some thunder from Publix. And that’s A-OK with corporate brass.

Thursday’s grand opening of GreenWise Market in South Lakeland portends a new era in the evolution of Publix Super Markets, Inc., which is based in Lakeland. Judging by the crowds, shoppers certainly seem smitten with the first such market in Polk County and one of only six in existence, though many more are in the works throughout Florida and other southeastern states…

… The store’s produce section includes a line of packaged lettuces from Brick Street Farms in Pinellas County, which specializes in greens grown hydroponically with very little water and no pesticides, thanks to a system enclosed in customized shipping containers.

In coming weeks one of the containers will be positioned on site at GreenWise Market in Lakeland, optimizing the “fresh” quality of Brick Street’s greens.

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