This week, Gordon Food Service’s new urban retail concept opened its doors, inviting Grand Rapids-area customers the chance to see the “experience” focused format.
“We have our traditional foodservice customer, the restaurants, and business operators that we need to service out of this store,” said Mark Dempsey, Marketing Manager. “But we also wanted to be relevant to the community and relevant to those who didn't just shop at our stores a few times a year for a party but needed our store for their weekly grocery shopping.”
The 16,000-square-foot store is a first for the Wyoming-based company that operates 176 stores nationwide. According to local news source MLive, the new format offers a number of unique flourishes—including a craft ice cream bar—and provides staple products, with a focus on fresh offerings like milk, eggs, bread, and fresh produce.
Brandon Ryan, Senior Manager, told the news source that the concept was inspired by Manhattan grocers and their extensive focus on deli and service-bakery departments.
“What we saw in Manhattan was this focus on service, the focus on deli, service-bakery,” Ryan told MLive. “We said, ‘You know what, if it's still happening here and where they're at, then it's definitely something we want to bring to Grand Rapids.’”
In addition to servicing grocery store-goers, the company will attend to its restaurant and other foodservice clientele through the new location.
Could Gordon Food Service’s new format signal a sea change in the company’s retail strategy? Deli Market News will continue to report with updates.