A motorized shopping cart is parked outside the new Publix at Tradewinds Plaza in Key Largo on Feb. 15. MANUELA CARRILLO MOBLEY/Keys Weekly

Shoppers heading to Publix at Key Largo’s Tradewinds Plaza on Feb. 15 were delighted to find a newer — and larger — grocery store open for business. A ribbon-cutting just before 7 a.m. with store employees and local business leaders marked the beginning for the newest Publix supermarket in Florida. 

Kmart’s closure on May 24, 2021 presented an opportunity for Publix, which formerly operated out of roughly 46,000 square feet of space toward the front of the Tradewinds Plaza. By June 2021, Publix announced the move to the back of the plaza where Kmart had been. 

Publix’s newest store in the Keys features a seating area for customers to enjoy coffee or lunch, as well as larger and refreshed grocery, dairy, seafood, frozen food, meat and produce, bakery and deli sections. The store also has a pharmacy with a drive-through option.

“We are excited to welcome our customers to their new store at Tradewinds Plaza and look forward to providing them with the premier service and quality Publix is known for,” said Lindsey Willis, Publix media relations manager, in a statement.  

Publix provides contactless pay options and convenient services, like grocery delivery via Instacart, and pharmacy delivery. The store will also feature a centralized, online-order, pick-up option at the storefront.

Space left by Publix at the front of the plaza will be occupied by a pair of clothing stores. That’s according to Kimco Realty, a real investment trust and North America’s largest owner and operator of grocery-anchored shopping centers. Burlington and TJ Maxx will each occupy roughly 23,000 square feet of space where Publix formerly operated. It’s unknown when they’ll open.

Jim McCarthy
Jim McCarthy is one of the many Western New Yorkers who escaped the snow and frigid temperatures for warm living by the water. A former crime & court reporter and city editor for two Western New York newspapers, Jim has been honing his craft since he graduated from St. Bonaventure University in 2014. In his 4-plus years in the Keys, Jim has enjoyed connecting with the community. “One of my college professors would always preach to be curious,” he said. “Behind every person is a story that’s unique to them, and one worth telling. As writers, we are the ones who paint the pictures in the readers minds of the emotions, the struggles and the triumphs.” Jim is past president of the Key Largo Sunset Rotary Club, which is composed of energetic members who serve the community’s youth and older populations. Jim is a sports fanatic who loves to watch football, hockey, mixed martial arts and golf. He also enjoys time with family and his new baby boy, Lucas, who arrived Oct. 4, 2022.