TAMPA (FOX 13) - It's a grocery store with few others like it. And for students at the University of South Florida, it's a dream come true.
"I’ve been bragging about it to my UCF friends for months now that we're getting a Publix," one USF student laughed.
"I’ve already texted all my friends like, ‘Look what we have!'" another sophomore offered.
Thursday, Publix hosted the grand opening of its first-ever grocery store to be built on a college campus.
"Everybody is so excited,” USF president Judy Genshaft said. “The students’ number-one choice was to have a Publix supermarket on campus. Not across the street, but on our campus. It fills the student village that we constructed. It's green like we are. We're thrilled."
Now that it’s within walking distance for thousands of students at USF, the easy convenience has many students saying they might be trading in their ramen noodles for more healthy alternatives.
"It's really great. Having Publix on campus, we're freshman and we live on campus, so having it is super beneficial," said student Mayur Bachora. "We can walk here in like two minutes."
But it's more than just groceries -- the 28,000-square-foot store is also offering jobs, currently employing over 50 of the university's students with the hopes to add more.
"We want to have a great partnership with University of South Florida and the students are a big piece of that,” Publix spokesman Brian West stated. “They’re going to shop here, they're going to depend us, we're going to depend on them."
While the Publix chain currently has no immediate plans to add additional stores on other college campuses, they say if all goes well at USF, it's definitely a possibility.