Giant Food Stores’ foray into urban food retailing will continue when a second location of its Giant Heirloom Market format opens Aug. 2 in Philadelphia’s University City neighborhood, just in time for school's return.
Giant, an Ahold Delhaize banner based in Carlisle, Pa., opened the first Heirloom Market store in January in the Graduate Hospital neighborhood of Philadelphia. Officials say the concept allows the company to penetrate city neighborhoods with a smaller and fresh-focused interpretation of the full-line supermarkets it operates in surrounding suburbs.
“The opening of our second Giant Heirloom Market store reaffirms Giant’s continued commitment not only to the Philadelphia region but also to our strategic investment in the city’s urban core,” Nicholas Bertram, president of Giant, said in a release. “We’re thankful for the community’s enthusiastic response to our first Giant Heirloom Market in Graduate Hospital and look forward to introducing this innovative design and concept to University City next month.”
University City reflects its geographic location in west Philadelphia, which encompasses the campuses of the University of Pennsylvania, Drexel University and the University of the Sciences. Giant officials say the store will reflect those surroundings, making small changes to the first iteration: With students in mind, there will be more convenient and easy-to-prepare meals. The store will also devote more space to plant-based foods, cold beer, frozen pizza, ice cream and sushi.
The 9,950-square-foot store store will open at 6 a.m.—an hour earlier than the first Heirloom Market—to cater to commuters on their way to work and those coming off overnight shifts at area hospitals.
Angel Cordero, a 20-year grocery veteran, has been appointed store manager at the University City store. Cordero also managed the opening of the first Heirloom Market. His strong customer service orientation, knowledge and expertise make him a clear choice to lead this next store opening, Giant said.
“University City is the perfect neighborhood to bring Giant Heirloom Market to—a vibrant, fast-paced community full of professionals and students looking for fresh, healthy, convenient food,” Cordero said. “Just like Giant Heirloom Market, the University City community is a neighborhood bursting with creativity and innovation, making for the perfect pairing.”
The store will also feature local partnerships with Philadelphia-area food purveyors, including High Street on Market, Claudio Specialty Foods and Isgro Pastries, as well as a grind-your-own-beans option featuring locally based One Village Coffee. A “sampling station” will encourage shoppers to explore new flavors, and the store will feature specialty cheese, kombucha on tap, and a do-it-yourself olive oil and vinegar blending station.
Giant said it is planning two additional Heirloom locations in Philadelphia: one in the Northern Liberties neighborhood, and another in Queen Village.