GFS Marketplace heading for Pittsburgh

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- GFS Marketplace Stores, owned by Gordon Food Service here, is preparing to open two locations later this month in the Pittsburgh suburbs of Monroeville and Pleasant Hills.

The arrival of GFS Marketplace will bring a new concept to the Western Pa. Region, via footprints in the 14,000-square-foot range that offer discount pricing on volume sales to restaurants and other food service operators, as well as the general public.
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Mark Dempsey, spokesman for GFS Marketplace, told Progressive Grocer that both stores will celebrate grand openings on Nov. 27, although the Monroeville location will hold a soft opening on Nov. 15.

Dempsey said GFS Marketplace is "primarily a B-to-B format," but it does serve as a destination for consumers planning "big family events or lifetime celebrations."

Dempsey said "true restaurant-quality foods" are the primary draw of GFS Marketplace.

The foodservice supplier opened its first outlet 27 years ago "as a backup for our traditional foodservice distribution business," said Dempsey. "We provide a place where the restaurant trade can get the quality, quantity and pack size that they're very familiar, with vs. grocery wholesale clubs and traditional supermarkets."

The format is also popular with small foodservice customers "who can't justify the big distribution costs, but who still like to touch and feel their own produce," said Dempsey. "Churches are another big customer for us, for funerals, weddings, Lenten fish fries, and so forth. Our doors are also open, free of charge, to the public, which tend to visit us once a month or so, for big family events or lifetime celebrations, for bigger pack-size products they don't have access to in a typical retail establishment."

Gordon's expansion into the Pittsburgh is the latest in an ongoing expansion for the company, which operates 115 GFS Marketplace locations, mostly in Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio.
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