Hale Groves to open second store in Vero Beach with meat counter

VERO BEACH – For the last two years, operators at Hale Groves River Market in Wabasso have been scouring the Vero Beach area, searching for the perfect location to open a second store.

They finally found it – and by October, they hope to open up their new location in the heart of Vero Beach.

“We’re trying to change the image of Hale Groves,” Retail Manager Kristin Barnett said. “We’re not just citrus anymore.” The store will be a new spin on Hale Groves, offering more than citrus and produce.

To that end, Barnett said they will have a meat and a seafood counter run by local Jim Carroll, of Carroll Meat and Seafood Market.

“We’re very excited to have him on board,” Barnett said.

Barnett added that Hale Groves strives to bring in as much local produce from the region, and so it was when choosing someone to run the meat and seafood counter.

“It was a natural to bring a local in,” she said.

The store will also offer prepared foods based on the produce available each season.

The new location will be located on the northwest corner of 7th Avenue and 22nd Street, across from the Longbranch Saloon.

“We’re basically starting from the ground up,” Barnett said of building out the storefront.

The location suffered a fire a couple years ago, leaving the structure a burned out shell, she said.

“We have a rather aggressive plan,” Barnett said of getting the business up and running in October. They had expected renovations and construction to postpone opening until November.

Hale Groves has a budget of $300,000 to get the site ready – the landlord is also helping out, Barnett said.

“It is very tight,” Barnett said of the store’s own budget, “but we think we can do it.”

Barnett expects the Vero Beach location to be open year-round, serving the greater community when the Wabasso store closes for the summer – between May and October.

At the peak of season, the Vero Beach store could have as many as 30 or 35 employees, many of whom could be hired from within the company, according to Barnett.

With everything seemingly falling into line for the Vero Beach location, the staff has another task before them – come up with a name for the store.

They are looking for help filling in the following blank: “Hale Groves blank Market.”

Anyone with an idea for the name is encouraged to post it to the company’s Facebook page – you must have a Facebook account to access the page.

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