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  1. Taster's Choice: the year 2014 in review

    Taste Test

    As we enter our 11th year of food tasting, we begin 2015 with a list of the "winners" from the previous 12 months of the Taster's Choice column. In 2014, we retried a number of our favorite foods from past years and tweaked our comparisons to fit changes in the food market. We couldn't ignore the surge in Greek yogurts on the market or the increasing options of favorites like hot dogs, salsa and microwave popcorn. We also recognized the need to try gluten-free foods and some of the not-so-healthy convenience foods like frozen breakfast sandwiches. Our mission has never been to judge consumers, but rather to reflect what they are buying and offer some input into the often complicated task of navigating grocery store choices. We look forward to seeing what food trends emerge in 2015 and, with the closing of so many grocery chains, including the Sweetbay stores in the area, we anxiously anticipate the opening of Trader Joe's in St. Petersburg. We always welcome reader suggestions. …

  2. Three Seffner stores affected by Winn-Dixie's rebranding of Sweetbays


    SEFFNER — The city's busiest retail area will transform over the next two weeks thanks to a grocery store acquisition that will lead to changes for customers, employers and adjacent retailers. …

  3. Converting Sweetbay stores into Winn-Dixies a 'Herculean' effort


    When Winn-Dixie's parent company announced it was buying Sweetbay supermarkets and turning them into Winn-Dixie stores, customers had two big questions: Are you keeping the employees? And will the pretzels, pineapples and other products stay in the same place? Winn-Dixie said yes to both. …

  4. 16 Sweetbay stores to close for a week, reopen as Winn-Dixies


    Sixteen Tampa Bay area Sweetbay stores will close on March 29 and reopen April 4 as Winn-Dixie stores, parent company Bi-Lo Holdings LLC announced Wednesday.  …

  5. Winning over Tampa Bay market won't be easy for Winn-Dixie


    When Winn-Dixie took over Sweetbay supermarkets in April, it swapped the signs and shopping carts but basically left the stores the same. Shoppers saw the same faces working the registers and stocking the shelves. Every item from peanut butter to popcorn stayed in the same spot. …

  6. More Sweetbay conversions announced


    Tampa bay More Sweetbay stores to become Winn-Dixies The conversion of Sweetbay supermarkets into Winn-Dixie stores continues in the Tampa Bay area.  …

  7. 17 more Sweetbay stores to convert to Winn-Dixie


    Seventeen Sweetbay grocery stores in the Tampa, Brandon and Zephyrhills areas will close April 5 and reopen April 11 as Winn-Dixie stores, parent company Bi-Lo Holdings said Friday. …

  8. Bi-Lo to close 13 stores as part of purchase of Delhaize stores


    Bi-Lo Holdings, the parent company of Bi-Lo and Winn-Dixie grocery stores that's buying Sweetbay supermarkets, said it will close 13 stores as part of the deal, including five in the Tampa Bay area. …

  9. Winn-Dixie readies to rebrand Sweetbay stores


    Say goodbye to Sweetbay supermarkets. Months after Bi-Lo Holdings announced it was buying the Sweetbay stores and converting them into Winn-Dixies, the end is finally here. …

  10. Is Winn-Dixie destined to take over empty Sweetbays?


    Midtown is enjoying the arrival of a Walmart where a Sweetbay was, but four other south Pinellas shopping centers are still waiting to fill the void a year after the grocery stores closed. …

  11. Sweetbay to lay off 346 as it closes its Tampa headquarters and distribution center


    Sweetbay Supermarkets plans to lay off 346 employees at its Tampa headquarters and Plant City distribution center amid the grocery chain's pending sale to Jacksonville-based Bi-Lo Holdings.  …

  12. How St. Petersburg movers-and-shakers lured Walmart to Midtown

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — For eight years, the Sweetbay Supermarket at Tangerine Plaza stood as a symbol of long-needed progress in one of the city's poorest neighborhoods, a victory for public officials who had worked for five years to bring the Midtown community its first grocery store. …

  13. Winn-Dixie vs. Sweetbay? Winn-Dixie may prove to be the stronger


    Sweetbay or Winn-Dixie? For many shoppers, Sweetbay is superior. Most of the stores are clean and newly remodeled. The produce is fresh and well displayed, surpassing even Publix's at times. (Blasphemy!) I particularly like Sweetbay's $3.99-a-pound salad bar. …

  14. Sweetbay grocery chain to become Winn-Dixie stores


    After nearly 10 years, the Sweetbay grocery store name is going away. Bi-Lo Holdings, the parent company of Winn-Dixie and soon-to-be owner of Sweetbay Supermarket, said Tuesday that it will retire the Sweetbay name and convert the stores to the Winn-Dixie brand. …

  15. Buyer of Sweetbay grocery chain plans public stock offering


    Bi-Lo Holdings, parent company of the Bi-Lo and Winn-Dixie grocery stores and the buyer of Tampa's Sweetbay Supermarket chain, plans to go public with an initial public offering of stock under the name Southeastern Grocers LLC. The company expects to close by early 2014 on its purchase of 155 stores of Sweetbay and other chains from Delhaize Group. Last year, Bi-Lo Holdings reported net income of $103.1 million on sales of $8.6 billion. It currently operates 685 stores in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, North Carolina and Tennessee. …

  16. It's official: Walmart opening in Midtown

    Economic Development

    ST. PETERSBURG — The official word is out: Walmart is going into the Midtown space that Sweetbay vacated in February. …

  17. Midtown residents eager to welcome Walmart


    ST. PETERSBURG — While some Walmart employees are protesting for better wages in cities from Orlando to San Francisco, confirmation of the store's opening in Midtown has plenty of residents ready to welcome the giant retailer. …

  18. Sweetbay shopper teams up with Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Desmond Jennings

    The Heater

    Sweetbay held its fourth annual Shop With a Player event Wednesday at 13508 N Florida Ave. in Tampa. Queen Matthews teamed up with Tampa Bay Rays player Desmond Jennings, and they raced to fill carts with $1,000 in groceries in 10 minutes. Matthews said the groceries would feed kids at a community center where she works. Jennings presented a $1,000 check, donated by Pepsi, to the Rays Baseball Foundation to aid the Dugout Clubs, a community outreach program.

  19. Now a private company, Sweetbay Supermarket's new owner looks to go public


    The new owner of Tampa-based Sweetbay Supermarket plans to become a public company. According to Reuters, Jacksonville's Bi-Lo Holdings, the nation's ninth-largest traditional supermarket chain, is working toward an initial public offering later this year and has tapped banks to lead the deal. …

  20. Is Walmart going to be the new anchor at Midtown's Tangerine Plaza?

    Real Estate

    ST. PETERSBURG — Is Walmart going to be the new anchor at Midtown's Tangerine Plaza? A Walmart employee gave her business card to a volunteer who works at the St. Petersburg Police Department's resource center, which is housed in the shopping center at 22nd Street and 18th Avenue S. …

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