Floridians usually love any new supermarket, but Publix Super Markets Inc. has found the wealthy enclave of Palm Beach are a demanding bunch. Publix is in early go-rounds with the Architectural Review Commission over plans to replace its small, 40-year-old store with one a third larger. Much of being "Palm Beach-worthy" means keeping one of the few chain stores and the only supermarket in this town of 10,000 small enough not to draw outsiders from the mainland, according to accounts in the Palm Beach Daily News and Palm Beach Post.
So to appease locals, calling it a GreenWise, the Publix gourmet/organics version of a Whole Foods store, is out. Valet parking? Perhaps. More pricey prime beef, organics and gourmet cuts? You bet. But locals are pressing Publix to give up "south of the border" Mexican tile in place of Italian or Spanish. Some want smaller shopping carts and multiple entrances to limit steps from the car. Others pooh-pooh an oak-shaded arcade, figuring only Publix employees and construction workers will eat there. "Keep thinking outside the box," urged Commission Chairman Jeff Smith.