Alex Rodriguez stacks jars of jelly on a shelf at the newly opened Florida Citrus Country, 5800 Seminole Blvd., former location of Citrus Country Groves.
SEMINOLE – Residents who enjoyed orange vanilla swirl ice cream and other tasty treats at the former Citrus Country Groves store can do so again.
The store, located at 5800 Seminole Blvd., reopened under new ownership Nov. 7 and is known as Florida Citrus Country.
Southern Fulfillment Services of Vero Beach closed the store April 19 in conjunction with a sister store by the same name at 18200 U.S. 19 N., in Clearwater, which has since been converted into a car dealership.
Vero Beach-based grower-shipper W.C. Lee Inc., worked out a lease deal with property owner Al Repetto, allowing the popular store to reopen. Principal owners are William C. Lee, Dempsey Lee and Troy Lamm.
“This is the first time they’ve done retail,” said store manager April Groth who managed the former Citrus Country Groves store in Clearwater. “I think they’re going to do shipping here too.”
Groth said their business plan is very simple – offer the same products the previous store sold.
In addition to the trademark ice cream, the product line will include fresh citrus and produce, juices, marmalades, jellies, taffy and more.
Groth said once word got out around Seminole about the store reopening, she and her staff saw a steady stream of inquisitive residents wondering when the store would be open again.
The store will begin with a staff of seven employees, all of which worked previously at Citrus Country Groves in Clearwater or Seminole.
The site has a long tradition dating back to 1946 when Repetto opened it as Orange Blossom Groves.
The store operated for decades as Orange Blossom Groves before closing in 2004. Repetto leased the location to Citrus Country Groves of Dade City in 2007, which sold the business to Southern Fulfillment in March 2010.
During the height of the citrus season, the store employed about 20.
Store hours are Monday through Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.