Lucky's Market to Improve Panama City's Economy

PANAMA CITY, Fla. - The Colorado-based Lucky's Market is now open in Panama City and consumers are already rushing out to shop. 

News 13's Alex Thorson said the unique grocery store will benefit the city as a whole. 

Their motto says it all: "organic food for the 99 percent."

"It's where every family in Bay County can come in and shop with us and feel comfortable with the prices," Keith Webster, Lucky's Store Director, said.

The company focuses on home grown, healthier, food options. 

Many shoppers said Lucky's offers more foods that fit their specific dietary needs.

"I'm gluten free so they have lots of choices for me as well," a shopper said.

It's shopping with an added bonus.

"You can get a two dollar pint of beer or three dollar glass of wine, throw it in your cart, and sip it while you shop," Ben Friedlend, Lucky's vice president of marketing, said.

"That's my idea of really good shopping," a shopper joked.

Panama City officials said the business will prompt a boost in Panama City's economy. 

"It will attract people from not only Panama City, but surrounding areas to shop because it's something that's unique and different," Panama City Mayor Greg Brudnicki said.

"Somebody said to me, 'finally the grocery store I never knew I needed,'" Friedlend said.

Several other developments are currently under way in the area.

"We're talking about one of the largest single pieces of property that's in the city to become another commercial development," Brudnicki said.

The mayor said the one percent merchant tax on Lucky's is an added source of revenue for the city. Also, construction of the building and the hiring of current employees created hundreds of jobs.

Mayor Brudnicki also said he and the commission have been hoping for an organic grocery store for the last few years. He said they are thrilled about the healthier options offered to the citizens of Panama City. 

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