An upscale grocer apparently has its sights set on Davenport and Iowa, as North Carolina-based The Fresh Market is moving through the city's zoning process.
Each of the company’s stores features a large produce department, full-service meat and seafood counters, deli and prepared foods department, in-store bakery, floral and gift center, candy, coffee, bulk, dairy and specialty grocery department. Many of the stores also include an extensive selection of wine and beer, according to the company's news materials.
The company would build a 24,000-square-foot store in the northeast corner of the parking lot at Rave Cinemas, 3601 E. 53rd St., the first by The Fresh Market in Iowa. The movie theater property is in the process of being subdivided. The project's developer declined to comment Monday.
A spokeswoman for The Fresh Market said the company's policy is not to comment on rumored or potential sites until they are released publicly on the company's website.
A plat for the project will go to the Davenport City Council on April 24. It will be presented to the city's Plan and Zoning Commission on April 30.
The publicly traded company has 131 stores in 25 states, with the most recent opening last month in Aiken, S.C. The Fresh Market employs 9,700 people.
There are seven The Fresh Market stores in Illinois with most of those located in the Chicago suburbs, although the closest is in Peoria. The company specializes in perishable products, such as fruits and vegetables, meat and seafood, according to industry analysts.
The store would be on about 3.3 acres. The property has access to 53rd Street and Utica Ridge Road.
Alderman Gene Meeker, at large, who chairs the city council's economic development committee, is pleased with news of the new food store chain coming to Davenport.
"We are very glad to have them," he said. "We think it is an excellent addition for our business community. They are very happy with the location, and we’re glad to have the business."
Last year, Whole Foods, another upscale market, opened its first store in Iowa, in West Des Moines. Whole Foods is ranked 19th on "Supermarket News" top 75 retailers, while The Fresh Market is listed 71st on the same list.