This week, Tallahassee was graced by Colorado-born Lucky's Market. Lucky's anthem is, "organic for the 99%," and they aim to provide just that: inexpensive and nutritious, organic and natural foods that promote healthy eating that everyone can afford. Before the Grand Opening, I talked to Lucky's Regional Marketing Specialist, Liz Ruefly, about everything that makes Tallahassee so 'Lucky' to have Lucky's (I realize that was bad, please just let it slide).
Part of the way Lucky's attains their goal is by working closely with surrounding local communities and locally sourcing much of the food they offer. They understand that oftentimes communities have trouble accessing high quality, low priced health foods, and they aim to change that. They also run weekly sales, from Wednesday to Wednesday. Each Wednesday they have double ads, the ones from the previous week and the ones from the coming week. You can check out their weekly sale offers here.
No, Lucky's is not a revamped Whole Foods nor a Trader Joe's knockoff. While their mission focuses on making accessible local and natural/organic products, they do offer the same familiar products you'd find at Club Pub, such as Coca-Cola and Campbell products. Lucky's goal is to begin to expose their customers to the world of organic and healthful food, so they become curious enough to explore everything else the store has to offer. Essentially, they aim to "ease" people in to the lifestyle, but let people take it slow.
According to Liz, part of Lucky's mission is to make grocery shopping fun for all. Employees are encouraged to engage with and get to know their customers, as well as to be creative and have freedom in the workplace. Their name tags include their name, where they're from, and what their passion is. This past Halloween, Liz told me, some stores had employees carve pineapple jack-o-lanterns in honor of the holiday. They also host year-round events, like in-store food, wine, beer, and cheese tastings, or more kid-geared events, such as this past Halloween's pumpkin painting event.
Lucky's also takes a grassroots approach to getting involved in local community work: they contribute to several different philanthropies and organizations year-round. Bring in reusable bags to pack up your purchase, and Lucky's will take ten cents off your total price and offer you the option to donate it to your choosing of one of three charities they are partnered with (these charities change quarterly, chosen via Facebook poll). If you donate that ten cents, they even match your donation. Buy Lucky's branded items, and they will reinvest 10% of the sales from those items into the community. And for one day out of every quarter-year, Lucky's will partner with a community organization to set up an informational table promoting the organization. On these days, called "impact days," the store donates 10% of that day's total profit to the organization they paired with
Also, as if they couldn't get any more awesome, Lucky's kicks off their grand opening ceremonies with no, not a ribbon cutting, but a bacon cutting. P.S., I tried the bacon all the hype is about, and it was the Most. Amazing. Thing. SO AMAZING.
After the grand opening ceremony when I was able to explore the store, it became apparent to me just how committed Lucky's is to providing people with the best food and the best service. Every employee was super helpful and their wine, cheese, candy, meat, dry product, produce, craft beer, gluten-free, etc. selections were extensive, to say the least. The store also features prepared food bars, a juice bar (holy cow did the juices look yummy), and full-service deli.
Lucky's new location is on the corner of Tennessee St. and Ocala, in the same plaza as Newk's. Next time you need to hit Club Pub, definitely consider checking out Lucky's instead, as I'm pretty sure it's a food shopper's fairy tale and they have everything, ever. They will be featuring tables offering vendor samples all week long to give customers a taste of what they have to offer. This Saturday, the 12th, they will be hosting a "Taste of Lucky's," with 15-20 vendors throughout the store offering samples. Go ahead, try them all. And please, for me, eat all the bacon.