Affordable, Interesting and Historic Fruit Cove, Florida
Fastest Growing Suburb of Jacksonville
The village of Fruit Cove, Florida is a thriving suburb of Jacksonville, near popular vacation spots and retirement living, yet full of people of all ages.
The village offers access to increased numbers of job listings each year since 2009, with jobs projected by local and state governments to continue on the upswing through to AD 2020.
Not only the fastest growing place in the state, it is known as the most affordable suburb for Florida living. Even though it is part of a larger upscale community, it is most affordable.
Fruit Cove is the most affordable community in Florida and Number Six nationwide for affordability at colleges.
Fruit Cove is a CDP - an unincorporated, census-designated place that is arger than a neighborhood and about the size of a village. It is located in St. Johns County, approximately 5 miles south of the Henry H. Buckman Bridge on the I-295 Outerbelt around Jacksonville.
Fruit Cove is also a part of a larger CDP called "St. Johns", which covers the entire 32259 zip code.
St. Johns community includes the villages Fruit Cove, Switzerland, and Julington Creek in an upscale environment. This larger community supports many golf courses, retail shops, boutiques, and historic mansions, along with protected marsh lands and wetlands for visitors to see.
Fruit Cove's population is 31,873 and since Census2010, population has grown by 7.72%. Previously, from Census2000 though 2009, the population doubled to 28,462. This increase was larger than for any other Florida city, town, or village and it led Bloomberg BusinessWeek magazine to name it the fastest growing place in Florida.
Citrus Groves and Travel
The St. Augustine Historical Society reports that Fruit Cove promoted the local Citrus Industry successfully in the second half of the 19th century very well, taking its name from its best business.
The nearby St. Johns River has been called Rio de Corrientes (River of Currents) by Spanish explorers, Rio de San Juan after a local Catholic Mission and finally St. John's and St. Johns, dropping the apostrophe.
Fruit Cove has been a travel hot spot since the 1700s and well known for fruit production.
Mr. William Bartram arrived in the area with father in 1765 to study the plant life. William wished to become a planter of local crops, but could not succeed and left the region. However, he came back in 1774 and wrote a book about his journey that the called Travels. A local high school is named in his honor today.
Cities and Fruits
Two years earlier than Bartram, in 1772, Francis Fatio was successful in planting 10,000 acres of fruit plantation in what is now St. Johns County and named it New Switzerland; the "New" was dropped in modern times.
During the 19th century, the communities of Fruit Cove and Mandarin were named after the groves of fruit that grew in them.
Although Bartram could not grow fruit, many others were successful in the industry. Nearby St. Augustine, settled by the Spanish, is the oldest continuously populated town in the nation.
Fruit Cove neighbors of Mandarin and Mandarin Park were named after the Mandarin orange.
Tourism and Travel - Sights and Jobs
- Jacksonville Landing is the Downtown District shopping mall for specialty goods and services, cafes and even nightclubs. Lots of special events and community activities are scheduled ever week. Cafes and nightclubs abound. Visit the mall at 2 West Independent Drive Jacksonville, FL 32202
- Karpeles Manuscript Library is the largest repository of privately-held original manuscripts and documents in the world. It is a favorite place for me to visit, located at 101 West 1st Street, north of Jacksonville Landing.
- MOCA Downtown Art Museum is not far from the mall at 333 N Laura St, Jacksonville, FL 32202.
- The Northbank Riverwalk begins at 201 E Coastline Drive in Jacksonville.
- The Science and History Museum is located 1025 Museum Circle.
- The Southbank Riverwalk is across the St. John's River and near the museum at 1001 Museum Circle.
The unemployment rate in Fruit Cove during May 2019 was only 2.28%, indicating many jobs were unfilled.
Top Hiring Companies
- US Naval Medical Command - US Naval Air Station
- Various staffing agencies: Healthcare, Sales a related jobs, IT are predominant.
- Mayo Clinic
- Advance Auto Parts, Inc.
- Shands Healthcare
- Baptist Medical Center
- Lender Processing Services
- St. Vincent’s Healthcare
- HCR ManorCare
In addition to seasonal jobs, the Fruit Cove area provided over 25,000 jobs advertised daily (June 2019).
The 10 Largest Metro Employers
- US Naval Air Station, just four just south of Fruit Cove.
- Baptist Health System: Hospitals and clinics.
- Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Florida: Health and Major Medical Insurance
- CSX: International transportation in an assortment of rail, container-shipping, inter-modal, trucking, and contract logistics.
- Citibank: Citi-Card banking card center and other services.
- Mayo Clinic: One of the most respected and effective healthcare and wellness facility networks in America.
- Bank of America
- US Postal Service (USPS)
- St. Vincent's Medical Center
- Shands Jacksonville Healthcare
Additional Employees Posting Many Jobs
- Petro Services Inc.; Speedway: Gas station-convenience stores
- Winn Dixie grocery stores
- The Home Depot: Retail, home and garden.
- Domino's Pizza, McDonald's, Pizza Hut
- Family Dollar Stores
- Advance Auto Parts
- Charter Schools USA
- Marriott International, Inc.: Hotels, resorts, gift shops, entertainment.
- Lids: Hats of all kinds.
Highest Demand and Increasing Numbers of Jobs
- US Navy IT jobs
- Physical and Occupational Therapists
- Registered Nurses, LPNs, Travel Nurses
- Salespeople and Supervisors
- Restaurant Managers and Assistant Managers
- General Managers, various types of establishments
- Shift Leaders and Hourly Assistant Managers
- Commercial Parts, Mobile Sales, and Retail Parts Sales - Auto Parts
- Caregivers: HHAs and others
- Customer Service Representatives
Other High Demand Jobs:
- Managers and Assistant Store Managers: Retail shops, coffee shops, small dining places.
Naval Air Station (NAS) Jacksonville, Hub of Navy Activity
Located just four miles south of the Urban Core District of Jacksonville and on the north side of the bridge above Fruit Cove, 24,000 civilian and active duty staff serve on this important air station. Annual air shows featuring the Blue Angels and other navy aircraft being in many visitors.
Among many other important operational missions, the base supports Patrol Squadron Thirty, the Navy's largest aviation squadron and the sole P-3C Orion Fleet Replacement Squadron to train American, NATO and Allied pilots and air crew/maintenance people for advanced missions.
This air station includes a large airfield for training and other missions, a maintenance depot of nearly 200 different skilled trades, a US Naval Hospital, a US Navy Fleet Industrial Supply Center, a Navy Family Service Center, and numerous recreational facilities for civilian and service personnel and families.
Navy drones like the one pictured below are in high demand for purchase outside America. Jobs and careers involved in drone manufacture and flying are increasing, especially around Florida.
Navy Drone Test and Manufacturing Companies
All of the following companies are also part of the NASA Commercial Crew:
- Boeing manufactures the unmanned style of its Gulfstream G550 business jet and is developing a manned drone option.
- Northrop Grumman makes an RQ-4 Global Hawk to Navy specifications. Modifications began with Mojave Spaceport tenants working on a Grumman Gulfstream II.
- Lockheed Martin manufactures the General Atomics MQ-9 Mariner.
Higher Education at the Naval Base
College classes and distance learning are available on NAS Jacksonville for the following schools.
Colleges and Universities
- Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
- Jacksonville University
- Southern Illinois University
- Webster University
- Columbia College
- Florida Community College - Jacksonville
Classes One Day Per Week
- Coastline Community College
- Nova Southeastern University
- Thomas State College
- Vincennes University
Additional Higher Education Facilities for Education and Jobs
- Edward Waters College
- Everest University Jacksonville Campus
- Florida State College at Jacksonville
- Florida Technical College
- Heritage Institute: Jacksonville Massage Therapy School, X-Ray Medical Techs, and other allied medical professions.
- Jacksonville University
- Jones College
- Mayo Clinic Florida
- University of Florida College of Medicine at Jacksonville
- University of North Florida
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2010 Patty Inglish MS