The Total Package

Duckweed Urban Grocery

Duckweed Urban Market is a 2500-square- foot grocery store that opened in June of 2013, in one of the retail spaces of the Element Building in downtown Tampa. They sell everything from meats, cheeses, chips and salsa…

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…wine, beer…

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… specialty chocolate bars, popsicles…

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…wraps, burritos, bread…

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… fresh juices, fruits and veggies…

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…paper towels, dog food, sunblock and so much more!

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On the run and need some healthy tasty food to-go?

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What about some guilt-free desserts?

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One particular fridge caught my eye. Is that SHRIMP!?

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I’m so glad I took a closer look. Eat Fresco is a company located in Tampa, staying true to  ‘keeping it local.’ According to their website, these prepackaged meals are “cooked locally, never frozen, and contain all natural and organic ingredients. [They]  use state of the art packaging to lock in freshness without the need for preservatives… meals are ready to eat in under two minutes.” The staff at Duckweed assured me that the servings in these packages only seem small due to the vacuum packaging. I HAD to ask ;o)

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Before Duckweed held court at this prime location in the Element building, they had humble beginnings in a 400-square- foot store steps away from The Hub.

These are some photos I got off of their Facebook page of their ribbon cutting ceremony with Mayor Bob Buckhorn. Apologies for the lack of photo credits. I couldn’t find one noted.

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A map of their first location.

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Now take a look at their SECOND ribbon cutting.  Look at the smiles on these two! That’s Mayor Buckhorn and Duckweed owner Michelle Deatherage :o)

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I was living at the SkyPoint and I remember hearing about a grocery store opening up. It would be a first in downtown Tampa since a U-Save that closed up decades ago. I would stroll by every now and then before class at the University of Tampa to check on its progress. I remember it as a closet-sized space, albeit more of a Carrie Bradshaw shoe closet. I would stop in to grab some local Whatever Pops strawberry basil popsicle or some Mr. Cucumber soda to make cucumber mojitos at home. The staff was always so nice and I loved that such a place existed. Downtown was growing and growing! That was October of 2011.

I wasn’t always as aware and in love with downtown Tampa as I am now. I don’t think I really knew it existed until one day, my father drove me on a highway and I could see minarets glistening in the sun. It looked like Aladdin’s castle to a younger me. How had I not seen this magical palace before? I was raised here! I would learn that it was the famous minarets of the University of Tampa, my future alma mater. In 2005, it was announced that downtown would be “blessed” with a Trump Tower Tampa, a blessing that ended up being very much a curse that burned many buyers. My dad drove me through the proposed building site at night and I remember thinking how empty downtown seemed. I was disappointed. Everyone had gone home from work and all I could see were the street lights spotlighting empty parking lots littered with garbage and brown bags and weeds growing up through the cracked concrete. But I digress. I took this little tangeant only to bring you back to explain why I am so happy and proud of the continuing growth, progress and development that is downtown Tampa. A small 400-square- foot grocery store has grown into a 2500-square- foot space with plans to expand to Channelside, less than a mile away. My heart is bursting with joy!


Duckweed Urban Grocery

803 N. Tampa St

Tampa, FL, 33602

(813)221-3825

Hours

Sun- Tues 8:00AM- 10:00PM

Wed- Sat 8:00AM- 11:00PM


 

Credit

Photos: Matthew Holler Photography