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Coffee Talk
Business Observer Friday, Aug. 24, 2018 2 months ago

Area company's prepared meals hit Publix shelves

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Tampa-based Eat Fresco has expanded into 21 Publix stores.

Want balsamic glazed grilled salmon for dinner?

That’s one of the eight prepared meals Eat Fresco is now selling to customers.

At the end of July, the Tampa-based prepared foods company launched its products in 21 Publix stores.

The stores — in Tampa, Lakeland and surrounding areas — will sell Eat Fresco’s fresh, prepared meals such as the salmon dish, Caribbean Style Jerk Chicken and Cuban Inspired Pork Loin.

Eat Fresco, started in 2014 by Rob and Tracy Povolny, was already in 50 stores in Florida, but the Publix addition represents a big step forward for the company.

Eat Fresco offers eight prepared meals, including Balsamic Glazed Grilled Salmon.

Tracy Povolny tells Coffee Talk, “Publix is very cautious about bringing in new products.” The company got its feet wet with Publix by having its products first offered in Publix GreenWise stores beginning in March.

“We started our journey with Publix with three GreenWise locations,” she says. They were initially in one Tampa GreenWise store and two in South Florida. “We started small there just to kind of test our product and see how our product resonated with customers,” she says. “Shoppers were elated to have it, and it sold really well.”

From there, Publix decided to sell the meals in its regular stores. For that main entrance, Povolny says that because Eat Fresco is local to Tampa Bay, it made sense for the products to be offered first in Publix stores in the Tampa Bay and Lakeland areas.

Those stores now offer the company’s current full product line — eight meals. Povolny says Eat Fresco will probably always have eight to 12 products, and they plan to rotate the offerings seasonally.

“From the very beginning, we had Publix shoppers in mind,” she says. Part of the company’s brand is making life easier for customers, Povolny says, and having the products available at Publix fits with that goal. Instead of making a trip to a different store, customers can pick up Eat Fresco meals during their regular grocery shopping.

Beyond this round of expansion, Eat Fresco has an even bigger goal: for its products to be offered in major retailers across the state. Povolny says, “The facility we built has the capacity to service the entire state.” 

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