Lucky’s Market Locations

  • 6765 Tyrone Blvd. N, St. Petersburg. (727) 302-9018.

Tampa Bay’s first — and, so far, only — Lucky’s Market opened at the start of June following the Colorado chain’s promise to expand in Florida. While Lucky’s leaders have yet to announce additional Tampa Bay locations, documents filed with the City of Clearwater show the store is at least eyeing the old Albertsons on Gulf-to-Bay Boulevard.

What’s it like?

Lucky’s has an inventory similar to Whole Foods, an aesthetic akin to Trader Joe’s and advertises produce prices that rival budget stores such as Aldi. The decor is modern, but rustic, with repurposed wood on the walls and massive bold text and signs labeling each section. It’s easy to find what you’re looking for, though you might get in an in-aisle traffic jam.

Lucky’s is often crowded, especially around its epic prepared food section. The store is known for its “sip n’ stroll” — buy some wine or a pint of beer and drink it while browsing the aisles. The carts even have clip-on cup holders.

Lucky’s slogan is “organic for the 99 percent,” and each week, the specials include some solid fruit or veggie deals. Whether it be two-for-$1 cucumbers or cherries for $1.98 a pound, the store has a mix of organic and traditional produce. There are walls of greens, mountains of apples and sometimes exotic finds like whole jackfruits.

The in-store coffee bar has a sizable seating area where guests can eat ramen, sip a latte and, sometimes, listen to live music.

Perks

Lucky’s has a reward app that’s available on smartphones. Scan the app before your purchases to keep track of your “points.” After you spend $100 — or earn 100 points — you’ll get $5 off your next purchase.

It’s easy to get lost in Lucky’s bulk section: There are candies, nuts, oats, grains, flour. But the bulk coffee section is a treat — most beans are $5.99 per pound. And you can grind them in the store if you don’t have a grinder at home.

Nitpicks

Lucky’s weekly deals can certainly draw folks in, but sometimes the demand outpaces the supply. Lucky’s still has novelty as the new “it” store, so be prepared for busy weekend shopping trips. If you’re able to go at nonpeak hours, you’ll probably have a more relaxed trip.

Prepared foods

Lucky’s might have the best prepared foods section of any of Tampa Bay’s chains. There are to-go items that will make you drool. Lucky’s takes it way beyond rotisserie chickens with sushi rolls and sushi burritos, ramen, sandwiches, pizza and a salad and olive bar.

There also are prepared items you can cook or heat up at home: house-made black bean burger patties, pre-seasoned chicken, plum sauce-covered chicken drumsticks, veggie lasagna or meatloaf meal kits.

Specialty items

Lucky’s has extensive dairy-free, vegan and vegetarian options. There’s cashew yogurt, soy cheese and coconut milk ice cream galore. There’s actually quite a bit of a selection for those with dietary restrictions, like shoppers who are allergic to lactose or gluten.

Lucky’s is also known for its delectable in-house smoked bacon. The chef-owned chain carries the sort of things at-home cooks need to create restaurant-quality dishes. Trish and Bo Sharon opened the first store in 2003 after growing tired of trips to multiple stores for what they needed.

Customer service

Employees are usually attentive and kind. The staff behind the meat counters and in the “apothecary” section — with its herbal remedies, wellness bar and aromatherapy — is especially knowledgeable of the respective products.

Price check

Milk: $3.49 per gallon

Boneless skinless chicken breast: $3.99 per pound

Avocados: 99 cents each

Statement from the store

“Lucky’s Market exists to help people eat a little healthier, connect with their community and have fun while pushing a grocery cart. ... We believe that good food shouldn’t be a luxury, it should be a right, and we want to bring it to more people. That’s why we work to take the price out of natural foods. ... The community in Sarasota was so welcoming to our store and team members and this gave us confidence to look for other store locations in the area. In general, we have learned that there are a lot of folks who like our concept in Florida. Healthy eating, healthy lifestyles, good food at great prices seem to resonate with people in Florida, and we’re excited to expand in the Sunshine State.”

Conclusion

Lucky’s does a good job marketing and promoting its low-cost produce and weekly sales. There are good finds to be had, but the whole store isn’t priced that way.

The prices of standard packaged items is about the same as everywhere else, and fluctuates like at the store’s competitors. Silk soy milk might be $1 more than it is at Winn-Dixie one week, but below what other retailers are charging the next because Lucky’s is running a two-for-$5 deal. (Lucky’s loves its two-for-$5 promotions.)

Lucky’s makes its mark with produce deals and its selection of prepared foods. The chain aims to make shopping fun, and succeeds. It’s worth checking out and easy to fit in to your regular shopping routine if you live in St. Petersburg, where the Whole Foods feels like a lot of driving and too much traffic away.