Tuesday, March 19, 2024

[ALERT] New Wholesale Grocery Store Coming to Sandy Springs

A new kind of grocery store is coming to Sandy Springs.  CHEF'STORE, a wholesale grocery store designed for restaurant owners, will open its first ever Atlanta area store at 6337 Roswell Road in Sandy Springs.  The new store will open in place of the short-lived Lidl in the center today known as City Center Crossing.  

CHEF'STORE joins fellow anchor Planet Fitness which opened in the center in December 2022.  

Lidl, a German discount grocer similar to Aldi, which continues to operate a store across the street, opened in the center in early 2021 but closed its store citing "lackluster sales" in July 2022.  The nearly 28,000 square foot store was previously part of a Marshalls before its relocation to Hammond Exchange.  

CHEF'STORE is owned by powerful food distributor, US Foods.  Based in Rosemont, Illinois, US Foods (NYSE: USFD), operates a vast restaurant supply network but has quietly been growing its retail grocery business.  The company launched CHEF'STORE in Charlotte in 2012 and today operates 91 stores from coast to coast with five more, including Sandy Springs, "coming soon," according to the grocer's website.  

"Convenience, low prices, and easy shopping make CHEF’STORE the go-to food and kitchen supply store and warehouse for restaurants across the country. Our wholesale warehouse-format stores cater to the foodservice industry, but are also convenient one-stop-shops for home cooks as well."   The company says on its website.    

"Customers choose CHEF’STORE to not only take advantage of a huge selection of competitively priced restaurant food supplies, as well as chef restaurant supplies and products, but because the service is second to none. We stand out from the competition thanks to our dedicated and helpful employees who prioritize customer service above all else."  

Publix level service with Kroger level prices - sounds good to us!  

We first encountered CHEF'STORE in Charlotte in 2021, and upon the closure of Lidl in 2022, suggested to several in the local real estate community that the Sandy Springs site would make a lot of sense for the budding business.  (Last we heard in 2023 was that a deal with US Foods had fallen apart so it's great to see a deal worked out after all.) 

The Sandy Springs store is adjacent to a Trader Joe's-anchored shopping center, across from an Aldi, with Publix, Kroger, Costco, and Whole Foods stores not far away.  That said,  the fact that CHEF'STORE will offer restaurants and the public at large a warehouse club-like experience without a membership, should resonate with locals.   

CHEF'STORE is not alone in looking to capture restaurant owner business but their model is unique.  The store requires no membership or cost to enter but is designed for restaurant owners.  Restaurant Depot, based in Whitestone New York, does not charge a membership fee but customers must apply for membership and prove they are business owners.  The company currently operates five Atlanta area locations including those on Ellsworth Industrial Boulevard in Atlanta, Roswell Road in Marietta, Crescent Drive in Norcross, and stores in Morrow and Buford.  

Costco, too, operates a single "Business Center" in the market but it's in Morrow, in a converted former traditional Costco warehouse club, where paid membership is required.  The store is oriented to restaurant and business owners but is open to all Costco members.    

CHEF'STORE is expected to open later this year. 

Were you surprised to see Lidl close its Sandy Springs store?  If you live in the area, where do you do the majority of your grocery shopping?  What would you like to see open in place of Lidl in Sandy Springs?  

Please share your thoughts below. 


Anonymous said...

Very excited for this but not thrilled about that particular location. Getting in and out of that shopping center is not great, especially during peak times.

Anonymous said...

Very much looking forward to this. I've heard of them and I think they'll carry some harder to find larger cuts of meat, and those of us that can't get into Restaurant Depot can shop here. Costco biz center is a huge schlep for most of your readers, and it has a few primals, but not an enormous selection (for beef). There are very, very seldom great deals on beef now, and buying in bulk and butchering at home is a good way to save some money (per lb).

Anonymous said...

It broke my heart when LIDL closed! I don't like ALDI as much, but will shop there, along with Trader Joe's and Kroger, but will also drive to East Cobb or Roswell to shop at LIDL.

Sandra said...

I loved the lidl in this location. Im so disappointed it closed.
I would have preferred an independently owned business to open. Sandy springs has changed so much and lost its sense of community that made it special.
It's now generic.

Anonymous said...

Sandy Springs has a variety of stores to choose from, and I do most of my shopping from several stores, Whole Foods, Kroger and Trader Joe's.

Anonymous said...

All Kroger locations have the most awful customer service, notorious for having warm milk and dairy products, produce that has seen its last good day, and butcher items that have expired and are marked down! I’ve seen better well kept bathrooms in a transient bus terminal! I say you can understand how well run and clean the back of the house is by looking at the public bathroom. I truly think people go to Kroger unconsciously due to tradition. “well, that’s where we’ve always gone” if you know how to shop in Publix, it’s actually lower priced than Kroger. I won’t go as far as him it’s comparable to Walmart, though. I shot mostly in Publix, however, Walmart is actually decent and I prefer if I have to go there as opposed to Kroger.

Anonymous said...

Why not a store like Wegmans. It would do great in this market.

Anonymous said...

Anon at 8:53 nailed Kroger perfectly. Lindbergh location is known in my parts as the "homeless Kroger".

Anonymous said...

Was devastated to see the Lidl at that location closed. Shopped there throughout it's existence but moved to East Cobb right before it closed. We now have our East Cobb lidl which I think sees a lot of traffic all the time so shouldn't have similar worries. Lidl has the best prices and selection of any store. Quick to get in and get out, good membership perks and excellent milk and imported groceries. Still occasionally visit the Aldi across the street as that's our closest one. The Roswell Lidl is also very good. Excited to check out the new store though!

Anonymous said...

If you go out the road on the side of the shopping center there is a traffic light across from Longhorn. It’s a long light but is safer

Anonymous said...

Yes, I guess when you live way up in Milton; you would call it a homeless Kroger. Because there is one homeless person there.

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