Back to the basics: Greenwise to Publix

Newly Converted Publix
Photo Courtesy: Kandon Fears

The Greenwise on West Gaines Street has been a bustling hub for college students and residents since the fall of 2018. In 2023, it was announced that all Greenwise locations would be phased out and converted to its parent company, Publix Super Market. This conversion included seven Florida stores and one Alabama store.

MaKiya Heard, a Florida A&M University (FAMU) student, is a frequent guest at the Publix, formerly Greenwise, on West Gaines Street. She goes to shop, study, and hang out with friends.

Since the transition, Heard has noticed a shift in the store’s ambiance. “I like that the store is expanding its options. However, I don’t like the grocery store appeal that the store is giving off,” said Heard.

Greenwise had garnered popularity among students for its many amenities, which included an upper-level study lounge, grab-and-go food items, and Pours, an in-store organic cafe offering smoothies, coffee, açai bowls, craft soda, and much more for patrons to enjoy.

“When I go to Greenwise, I’m going to have a cute study date with my friends, maybe grab a little snack or an acai bowl, and that’s it, but now I walk in there, and it almost feels like a Walmart,” said Heard.

Mikelanj Ajinaku, a student at Florida A&M and roommate of MaKiya Heard, also frequents the West Gaines Street Publix, oftentimes alongside Heard. She, too, has noticed changes.

“They have more grocery store items, but they don’t have the same nutritional items Greenwise had,” said Ajinaku.

When Greenwise Market launched in the early 2000s, the company aimed to emphasize organic food items. Publix still wants to accomplish said goal but believes it can still incorporate the purpose of Greenwise within its traditional supermarkets.

Jalen Scott, a freshman at Florida A&M, favors the transition. “It’s an actual Publix that’s closer to FAMU, [because] Florida State already has a Publix, so that offers more options to FAMU students,” said Scott.

There is currently a Publix on Ocala Road, which is not on the Florida State campus but is nearby. Scott is enthusiastic about a major grocery store chain within walking distance from the Florida A&M campus.

As many businesses in the Tallahassee area continue to grow, the transition of Greenwise to Publix reflects the evolving landscape of retail and consumer preferences, leaving excitement and nostalgia among the local college community.