Avli Restaurant Group is teaming up with Dom's Kitchen & Market to offer Chicagoans a line of chef-driven Greek meals and foods.
When longtime grocery execs Bob Mariano, Don Fitzgerald and Jay Owen launched their Dom's Kitchen & Market concept in Chicago nearly two years ago, the idea was to create an omnichannel food emporium with a neighborhood vibe. The latest example of that approach to food retailing is the grocer's new partnership with the Avli Restaurant Group in Chicago, through which shoppers can buy classic and contemporary Greek spreads, salads, soups, prepared meals and wines.
This is Avli’s first foray in the retail sector, according to the restaurant group’s founder and partner Louie Alexakis. “We are very excited for this next stage of growth for Avli and the partnership with Dom’s,” he said. “We already have a strong relationship with many of the shoppers that are coming through the door at Dom’s and this partnership allows us to further provide them with the quality meals they're looking for, while expanding the Avli brand." Avli currently runs five restaurant sites in the Chicago area, and is planning to open an eatery in Milwaukee, Wis., soon.
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The new to-go meals from Avli at Dom’s Kitchen & Market are curated and chef prepared. Offerings include vegetarian mushroom moussaka, stuffed eggplant, salmon and farro and shrimp and orozo. The line also includes other Greek favorites like lemon egg soup and Greek salad.
Dom’s co-CEO Fitzgerald told Progressive Grocer in an exclusive interview that the new partnership helps Dom’s meet shopper needs while also enabling the independent retailer to follow its mission of supporting local businesses. “As we continue to grow and learn from our customers, we see where there are new opportunities. This Mediterranean cuisine, which is a healthier option in a lot of cases, is additive to what we offer,” he noted, adding, “And Avli is committed to Chicago like we are.”
As Dom’s has staked its claim on being a food emporium that spotlights many local brands, Fitzgerald said that the prepared foods category has strong potential. “When we talk about curation, we often talk about center-of-the-store packaged products, which we love, but under the Dom’s big top, you also get to find these locally-curated, high quality meals,” he noted, adding that the chefs at Dom’s and Avli will be working to expand the Greek-inspired prepared foods portfolio. “This one will be a long-term and growing partnership.”
Dom’s also recently partnered with Chicago’s famous Manny’s Cafeteria and Delicatessen to carry corned beef sandwiches during the St. Patrick’s Day holiday, a pop-up offering that reflects its embrace of such restaurant-retail collaborations. “You can expect more of the surprise and delight in the store, that you don’t find elsewhere,” Fitzgerald added.
Dom’s opened its second location in Chicago, in the Old Town neighborhood, in November 2022. The original store in the Lincoln Park area of Chicago welcomed shoppers in June 2021.