Wednesday, August 05, 2009

The Evolution of City Grocers

Since it first opened in the Bell Lofts Building at 10th and Olive, City Grocers has filled an important void for downtown dwellers (and office workers), answering the age-old question from suburbanites, "Where do you do your grocery shopping?"

The store has provided staples and upscale items for almost five years now, and had planned to move to a larger space across the street in the Syndicate Trust Building.

However, Schnucks threw a wrench in those plans with its new Culinaria store, which will be opening in the 9th Street Garage (next to the Syndicate Trust and across from City Grocers' current location) next week.

While City Grocers is a great little store, it would be extremely difficult for it to compete with the Culinaria, especially on prices.

So, City Grocers is repositioning itself and revamping its business model. The store will soon be known as City Gourmet, and will feature to-go meals, a bakery, stir fry, a burrito station, espresso and smoothies, an expanded beer and wine selection (with lower prices) and additional dining space.

Sounds like a cool concept. It would be great to see both of these businesses co-existing and thriving.

2 comments:

Doug Duckworth said...

We shafted Craig Heller -- the one who brought Downtown to what it is today.

kris thomsen said...

Culinaria was desperately needed downtown and City Gourmet had an outstanding idea at least as reflected in their new name. Gourmet cooks abound and there is no place obvious downtown to get unique spices and specialty ingrediants. This is a niche the Gourmet name promises to fill but the stock on the shelves does not. Instead they are competing head on with prepared foods and this is an already failed strategy. Instead of Marketing it is a gourmet shop, truly make it a gourmet shopping experience. Recipes, samplings, a guest chef doing demos, specialized kitchen tools what a fun destination foodie place this could be.