Hart’s Local Grocers plans to open a store in a former auto repair shop on Winthrop Street. It will be the first full-service grocery store downtown in more than a decade.
Company officials were joined by Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren Friday morning for the announcement. Winthrop Street runs parallel to North Union Street, between East Avenue and Charlotte Street. The site is near The Little and Restaurant 2Vine.
The locally owned and independent retailer plans to open the store in May. The 20,000-square-foot building previously housed Craig Autometrics Inc. The business was owned by Butch Craig, who closed the shop Dec. 1 after deciding to retire after 33 years in business.
On Hart’s Facebook page, it says the new neighborhood market will offer local meat, dairy, produce and baked goods, along with national brands. The store also will offer prepared foods inspired by an updated 1940s-style menu of regional cuisine.
“This new grocery store will be a wonderful addition for the city of Rochester and for downtown,” Warren said in a statement. “Our East End is vibrant and this development will add to the vitality of the neighborhood. I am proud that our residents will now have more convenient access to groceries and greater job opportunities as a result.”
Hart’s was launched this year by Glenn Kellogg, an urban economic planner from Washington, D.C., who came to Rochester in 2011 with his wife. Kellogg modeled the grocery after a neighborhood market from the 1940s in the city called Hart’s, which was owned by businessman and philanthropist Alfred Hart.
“Residents not being able to buy groceries downtown leaves a big hole in their ability to live an urban lifestyle,” Kellogg said in a statement. “Downtown is a food desert, but it doesn’t need to be. There is a need and support for quality services located in walkable environments and we plan to meet the market demand and enable the lifestyle that residents are seeking.”
More than 30 employees will be hired this winter and spring, reaching more than 50 by 2015. Email [email protected] for more information.
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