Where can you find panini sandwiches, a sushi chef, gourmet coffee drinks and a selection of fine wine with an expert to help select the perfect vintage for your meal?
A trendy cafe? Not hardly.
Those are features planned for the Valley’s first Fry’s Signature supermarket, said company spokeswoman Kendra Doyel.
Arizona’s biggest grocery chain’s new-concept store is scheduled to open in early summer at the southeast corner of Thompson Peak Parkway and Hayden Road in Scottsdale’s Grayhawk master planned community.
The first and only Fry’s Signature store to date opened in Tucson about six months ago, Doyel said.
The company did market research on the Tucson target site’s immediate surroundings and asked residents what food and features they would like before designing the store and determining how to stock it, she said.
“The concept of a Signature store is to tailor it to the needs of a neighborhood and give it a local market feel,” she said.
It means every Signature store will be different. Stores in ethnic areas are likely to include large selections of ethnic ingredients and prepared foods, she said.
Stores in high-end neighborhoods, like Grayhawk, are likely to include expanded wine departments manned by “someone with the expertise to suggest pairings with food,” Doyel said.
Other features likely to be included in the Grayhawk store are a sushi bar, an olive bar, an expanded meat department with pricier cuts, an organic produce section, a big kitchen gadget department, and a large selection of prepared gourmet goodies such as panini sandwiches, she said.
Those are popular features already incorporated in some north Scottsdale Fry’s supermarkets, Doyel said.
Also likely to be a feature in all Signature stores is a Tully’s Coffee shop, she said.
Seattle-based Tully’s launched its Arizona debut in a few Fry’s stores, and still is exclusively in the supermarket chain within the state.
Another feature of the Signature stores will be experts in wine, meat and produce departments to help customers select products and suggest recipes for serving them, Doyel said.
“The store will be really focused on customer service,” she said.
The Tucson pilot has been a hit, Doyel said, and the company now plans to add Fry’s Signature to Fry’s Marketplace and Fry’s Food & Drugs as a third alternative format when developing a new supermarket, she said.