Organic grocery coming to Aventura and more retail news

Another large-format organic grocer will soon compete for South Florida customers.

Plum Market, a Michigan-based chain with plans to branch out across the country, is scheduled to open in Aventura on Nov. 2, according to the company’s website.

The store will open in a 22,600-square-foot space in Aventura Plaza at 278012 Biscayne Blvd., about 3 miles south of Hallandale Beach. The plaza, built in 1972, also is home to Ace Hardware, Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza and My Gym Aventura, among others.

Like other grocers in the organic category, Plum Market promotes itself as specializing in locally grown organic produce and dairy products, vegetarian-fed meats, sustainably raised seafood, artisan cheeses, baked goods made fresh daily and a wide selection of “hard sought” wine, beer and spirits.

In a news release posted on its website, the real estate firm that brokered the store’s lease said the Aventura site was chosen after a 2.5-year search for a “right-size space” accessible to the company’s target shopper.

Plum Market CEO and co-founder Matt Jonna said, “Florida is one of our most requested markets to enter. We have a built-in community of Midwesterners who spend their winters in the Miami area. They know our brand, they know our quality, and they want to rely on our services year-round.”

Plum Market operates three types of businesses. Just four of its flagship large-format, full-service groceries, such as the one planned for Aventura, are currently in operation in Michigan. A store in Chicago’s Old Town center opened in 2013 and closed in June after its landlord decided to lease the space to a competitor.

But along with the Aventura store, the company is planning to open large-format locations in Hollywood, Calif., and Washington, D.C.

Seven are smaller-format “Plum Market Kitchen” locations offering casual dining choices and grab-and-go selections. These are located in various locations, including major airports, college campuses, or mixed-use urban retail centers in Michigan, Ohio, Texas and Indiana.

And the company also operates catering services for 12 large employers in the Detroit metro area.

Victor George Spirits, a Black-owned distiller that’s building a large attraction on Fort Lauderdale’s historic Sistrunk Boulevard corridor, has announced a distribution deal with Breakthru Beverages, one of the nation’s largest alcoholic beverage distributors.

Victor George Spirits was launched in 2020 by former rapper Victor G. Harvey. Its first brand, Victor George Vodka, is promoted as a “clean smooth” beverage with a “silky taste” that leaves drinkers with no hangovers or headaches.

In July, the company launched Fort Mosé 1738 Bourbon, named after the nation’s first free Black settlement that was located two miles outside of St. Augustine.

Victor George Vodka, sold in 45 states, is already available at several South Florida restaurants and nightclubs, as well as retail stores Total Wine, Crown Wine and Spirits, Primo Liquors and others.

Harvey expects the new distribution deal to make the brands available “much more widely.”

“We are currently engaged in sales planning discussions to map out that strategy,” he said by email.

In January, the company acquired an equity stake in Palm Beach Distillery in West Palm Beach, where the products are produced. Capacity has been increased at the distillery “to be sure to meet expected demands,” Harvey said.

Meanwhile, the company expects to break ground this summer on an 18,000-square-foot lounge, restaurant, distillery, rooftop patio and cigar bar at Sistrunk Boulevard and Northwest 10th Terrace in Fort Lauderdale. In November, the project was awarded $2.45 million by the city’s Community Development Agency as part of an ongoing effort to revitalize the commercial corridor.

Three batches of a Banana Boat-branded sunscreen spray have been recalled by Edgewell Personal Care Company after finding benzene, a cancer-causing chemical, in the product.

Benzene was detected by the manufacturer in six-ounce aerosol cans of Banana Boat Hair & Scalp Spray SPF 30 with lot code numbers 20016AF, 200848F and 21139AF. Anyone with those products should stop using and discard them. More information and reimbursement guidance is available at

Benzene is not used to make the product but likely entered the packages during the manufacturing process, Edgewell said in a news release.

There is no known safe level for human exposure to benzene, which can occur by inhalation, through the mouth, and through the skin. Benzene can potentially result in cancers including leukemia, blood cancer of the bone marrow and life-threatening blood disorders.

No other Banana Boat products or Hair & Scalp Spray lots were affected, the company said.

Retail jewelry chain Kay Jewelers is celebrating the grand opening of its newly remodeled store in the Aventura Mall on Thursday, Aug. 18, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

At the event, shoppers will be able to explore new in-store services, digital features and the latest jewelry collections.

Aventura Mall is located at 19501 Biscayne Blvd., Suite 1793.

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Already well known for same-day deliveries from its warehouses, online retailer Amazon is launching same-day deliveries of other stores’ products.

This month, Amazon unveiled a pilot program in 10 metro areas, including South Florida, to deliver products from stores of participating retailers.

But the list of those participating retailers is short: GNC, seller of health and nutrition products; PacSun, a clothing and accessories retailer for teens and young adults; Italian clothing retailer Diesel; and Superdry, another clothing seller targeting young adults.

In South Florida, same-day delivery is available only from the PacSun location in Boca Raton and a Diesel location in Miami, according to Amazon’s website.

Amazon promises to add more retailers and more cities to its same-day service in coming months. Next up: Sur La Table, seller of upscale cooking and dining supplies, and 100% Pure, offering all-natural beauty products.

For more information, go to

Ron Hurtibise covers business and consumer issues for the South Florida Sun Sentinel. Send him your retail news at

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