Kroger Co. on Wednesday held a “soft opening” for its newest store concept, a 12,000-square-foot convenience store known as Fresh Eats MKT, in Blacklick, Ohio.
“Fresh Eats MKT is a fresh, new way to shop,” Jeff Parker, president of Kroger’s convenience store division, said in a statement. “We look forward to serving customers and offering fresh products, friendly service and convenient shopping in a way we’ve never done before.”
Fresh Eats MKT features made-to-order foodservice from Fresh Eats Kitchen and includes mobile/online ordering and indoor/outdoor seating. Its development — referred to as a “small test” by Kroger CFO Mike Schlotman — is consistent with Kroger’s stated goals to pursue food sales in a wide variety of formats.
The 12,000-square-foot specialty store also offers a larger assortment of fresh products than area convenience stores, including fresh produce, meat, bakery and dairy as well as a great selection of wine, beer and bulk nuts, mixes and candy. A drive-thru Kroger pharmacy, Starbucks, two Coke Freestyle machines and fuel pumps round out the offering.
Parker added that while the convenience store, pharmacy and fuel markets are very competitive in Columbus, the launch of this new banner fills an important need. Kroger operates 784 convenience stores in 18 states under the Kwik Shop, Loaf ’N Jug, Quik Stop, Tom Thumb and Turkey Hill Minit Markets banners.
Kroger is seeking employees for at least two other Columbus locations of the Fresh Eats concept including an existing Turkey Hill convenience store in Marysville, Ohio.