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Native Sun Returns As A Jacksonville Beach Pop-Up

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Jacksonville Daily Record
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Aaron Gottlieb, founder of Native Sun Natural Foods Market, stands in 2017 by a graphic in the Jacksonville Beach store that spells out the company's mantra about healthy living.

After 23 years, Native Sun Natural Foods Market announced in August it was closing all three of its stores due to increasing competition.

But as it turns out, the brand may still have a future, with word of a pop-up store opening at its Jacksonville Beach location at 1585 3rd Street North.

Despite the store closings, Native Sun has kept its Facebook presence going and announced Tuesday:

“Exciting news friends! Native Sun Test Kitchen is opening a pop up at our beaches location. Please come by & say hi, grab a lunch and sip a celebratory juice. Hours of operation are M-F 11-3 or until sold out. We can’t wait to see you!”

Following the shutdown of its three stores, owner Aaron Gottieb wrote on Facebook on September 20 that he and his family could not weather the grocery wars but left the door open for something in the future.

“The overwhelming support from dedicated customers and leaders in our community has led my family and me to explore the possibility of reopening one store. At this point, absolutely no plans are set in stone, but, like you we have found it difficult to shop for clean, honest food in town (outside of Grassroots Natural Market), Gottieb wrote.

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Credit Bill Bortzfield / WCT News
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WCT News
This Sprouts Farmers Market opened at the former Best Buy location at the Markets at Town Center.

One of the latest competitors to come into the Jacksonville market is Phoenix-based Sprouts Farmers Market, which opened its first area store at the Markets at Town Center over the summer. 

Whole Foods, which has a Mandarin location, will also be opening another store that will anchor Pablo Plaza in Jacksonville Beach.

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Credit HEATHER SCHATZ / WJCT NEWS
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Whole Foods Market will anchor the redevelopment of Pablo Plaza in Jacksonville Beach.

Gottieb has promised to keep the community updated on what may lie ahead on the Native Sun Natural Foods Market Facebook page.

Bill Bortzfield can be reached at bbortzfield@wjct.org, 904-358-6349 or on Twitter at @BortzInJax.

Bill joined WJCT News in September of 2017 from The Florida Times-Union, where he served in a variety of multimedia journalism positions.