New Store Targets St. Louis Food Desert
St. Louis Food Hub will open Fields Foods, a full-service grocery store that evokes a neighborly atmosphere, right near the heart of historic Lafayette Square near downtown St. Louis.
Located at 1500 Lafayette Ave., Fields Foods is scheduled to open Jan. 4, bringing more than 100 full- and part-time jobs to the area.
Fields Foods aims to feature the best homegrown foods selection by partnering with small- and medium-sized farmers who actively practice sustainable methods. The entire project, which includes Fields Foods and the St. Louis Food Hub’s food distribution and processing center, will cost $15 million.
In addition to local fare, Fields Foods will sell product lines from trusted brands including a large selection of gluten-free, organic and non-genetically modified foods. The 37,000-square-foot building features extensive retail space, a wine and beer bar, and specialized sections for seafood, cheeses, meats and prepared foods.
“It’s in our nature to create healthier communities one bite at a time,” said Jeffrey Randol, co-founder of St. Louis Food Hub and Fields Foods with Chris Goodson. “My partner and I have strong roots in the community, and we want Fields Foods to be an inspirational experience and culinary adventure that our neighbors will be proud to have in their own backyard.”
Randol said the store’s concept is also designed to “attract downtown workers who need to pick up fresh or prepared foods before getting on the nearby highway and heading home.” The co-founders plan to replicate their concept both locally and nationally where there is a scarcity of healthful grocery stores.
Fields Foods projects a $1.6 million employee payroll, which is expected to have a $4.8 million impact on the community. Fields Foods is part of the $120 million redevelopment of the former City Hospital site, which includes the development of The Georgian, a residential condominium community with 105 units; The Palladium, headquarters for Butler’s Pantry caterer; The Power Plant, a multi-use entertainment and recreation facility; Walgreens; and The St. Louis Food Hub, a food distribution and aggregation center.
“It’s been a challenge for area residents to find fresh food options,” Goodson said. “Now the community will have a wide array of choices and many straight from the farmer’s fields directly to our store. It’s a very positive partnership because Fields Foods will be supporting both our local farmers and our neighborhoods.”