It looks like Tops Friendly Markets picked a winner with its new Orchard Fresh concept store.
The supermarket opened a high-end gourmet and specialty food retail shop in Orchard Park last month. The plan was to watch the new concept for about six months and – depending on its success – decide whether to add locations throughout Tops’ market area.
Just five weeks later, it already is looking for a place to put the next one.
“It has been a real home run for us,” said Frank Curci, Tops’ chief executive officer. “It has far exceeded our expectations.”
Though nothing is official yet, Tops has decided to move forward with expansion much earlier than expected.
The next location will most likely be in the Northtowns, and right now the company is trying to decide where it should be. Curci said he feels the company could settle on a location in the next three months, with an opening no sooner than early 2014.
Eventually, he envisions having two to four Orchard Fresh stores in each of the major cities in Tops’ market area.
“We want to do this right,” he said. “We think it’s an important part of our future.”
Orchard Fresh is a stand-alone store owned by Tops Friendly Markets. Its upscale, fresh, healthy and gourmet offerings appeal to a more affluent demographic. The Orchard Park store is 18,000 square feet and offers fresh, organic, gluten-free, eco-friendly, vegan and gourmet foods. It also has extensive prepared-food options.