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Produce Junction still coming to Newport area despite delays by COVID-19 pandemic

Brandon Holveck
Delaware News Journal

Renovation work has begun on the future Produce Junction near Newport.

A chain link fence now stands in front of the hollowed out Thrift Center building on West Newport Pike, one of the first signs of progress toward the specialty produce store.

Produce Junction, which has one Delaware store in Dover, announced the new location in October with a sign on the door. In the months following, the company made little progress and never declared an opening date.

The former Family Thrift under renovation Tuesday on West Newport Pike.

Produce Junction spokesperson Chris Laino said on Wednesday that the project was delayed due to difficulty securing contractors as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Laino said optimistically the company would like to open the store at the end of 2020.

"It's just whether we can pull that off," he said.

Produce Junction will be in a small strip center on West Newport Pike with Pat's Pizzeria and Thrifty's Delaware Family Thrift Store, which moved into a smaller space in February after closing its original location in the fall.

The former Family Thrift under renovation Tuesday on West Newport Pike.

Produce Junction stores feature three sections — fruits, vegetables and flowers. Within those departments, the company is known for stocking items not typically seen in the area, including dragon fruit, rambutan and cactus leaves.

The company operates 19 locations across New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware from its shipping warehouse and headquarters in Swedesboro, New Jersey.

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Contact Brandon Holveck at bholveck@delawareonline.com. Follow on Twitter @holveck_brandon.