~ Lakeland, Florida ~
About midway between Orlando and Tampa along Interstate 4 is the city of Lakeland. A growing, mid-sized city in its own right, Lakeland has a lakefront downtown of modest mid-rises, an arena with an active events schedule, and the campus of a Christian university to its credit. Unfortunately, my travels have only taken me through the northern periphery of the city, along the I-4 corridor. While much of the city and all of its downtown are shielded from view save for the typical businesses some might expect to see near exit ramps, motorists may notice the Publix Supermarkets warehouses that back up to the south side of the highway. Publix, the ubiquitous Florida grocery store chain known for its clean, attractive stores and positive work environments, calls Lakeland its corporate home. Given Lakeland’s proximity to Central Florida citrus groves, drinking water springs, cattle ranches, strawberry patches, and Gulf Coast fishing grounds, Lakeland is probably a pretty good spot for a grocery chain to call home.
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