Duckweed Urban Grocery breaks ground on Channelside

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Duckweed Urban Grocery breaks ground on Channelside location

If you live near the urban core of Tampa and don’t buy food from a farmer, then you’re probably pretty stoked about the new Publix supermarket opening in the Channel District on the corner of E Twiggs Street and N Meridian Avenue.

But did you know that downtown’s first grocery store — Duckweed Urban Grocery — broke ground on their second location yesterday, too?

That’s right, the Duck — which first arrived in 2011 at a little ol’ spot behind The Hub on Polk Street before relocating to bigger digs on Tampa Street — is also coming to Channelside.

Their new location in between Washington Street and Channelside Drive will be 2,000-square-feet (compared to the proposed Publix’s 37,6000-square-feet), but owner Michell Deatherage doesn’t see the large chain as competition. She takes Publix’s arrival as yet another sign that need and readiness for a grocery store has been apparent for a long time.


“We feel that if any big box store was to develop here, we’re at least glad it is Publix since we believe that they are a good company with strong values. [The news] confirms that we have selected an excellent location,” Deatherage, 43, told MA+A in an email. She said Duckweed will carry on the tradition of their Tampa Street location and provide the Channelside neighborhood the essentials they need and the extras they crave, while featuring local purveyors wherever possible and helping to foster a sense of community.

“The cool thing about Duckweed is that we have the luxury of being flexible. When we first open, we will spend a few months acquiring just what the community needs and desires,” Deatherage added, “but as those needs change, so will we.” Expect specialty items, local products, and prepared meals. And if Publix is effectively giving residents essentials like cleaning supplies and toiletries, too?

“We will move out some of the toilet paper in place of more health conscious options,” said Deatherage. She says they cannot wait to open doors.

“Duckweed has never set out to be the one and only grocery store in the area and we knew a big chain would be coming even as we signed the paperwork,” she said. “For us it is not about how many grocery stores or businesses come to the area but that they create something unique and special that serves the needs of the community.”

“Our store is far from a flashy and won’t boast the size of a Publix, but our commitment to the Channel District has been long standing. So whatever the other guys do, Duckweed will find its niche and thrive in the Channel District.”

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