Cub Foods shuttered three local groceries in 2013, including one on Salem Avenue in Trotwood, pictured. The owner of Foodtown closed stores last year in Trotwood and Tipp City saying they were not profitable. CHRIS STEWART / STAFF

Grocer could fill fresh food void in Trotwood: ‘We made it a priority because of the need’

After the only full-service grocery store pulled out of Trotwood last year, another company is poised to bridge the gap by stocking fresh and healthy food.

Gordon Foods Service (GFS) is in discussion with the city to expand its wholesale grocery model to include fresh retail options at its 5380 Salem Ave. location.

MORE: Trotwood, Tipp City Foodtowns to close

“Folks in that area need a grocery solution,” said Mark Dempsey, GFS director of marketing. “We’ve been working with the city hand-in-hand to show them how our store can be relative to that community and step in and help fill the void they have right now with access to fresh food.”

Upgrades to the store will put more fresh produce, vegetables, baked goods and meats in cases as well as offer in-store rotisserie and roasted chicken, according to GFS and Trotwood officials. The grocer will also offer on-line ordering with in-store pickup.

The GFS expansion comes after access to nutritious food was curtailed when a Foodtown store at 830 E. Main St. closed in September, according to the city.

MORE: County, city launch plan to combat hunger, food waste

The company has tested the concept at a half-dozen other stores, including those in Toledo, Maumee and a location in Detroit that will be visited next week by Trotwood Mayor Mary McDonald, City Manager Quincy Pope and members of the Trotwood Community Improvement Corporation.

Trotwood Mayor Mary McDonald said the store they plan to visit Friday opened in 2018 in a neighborhood that faced a similar scarcity of fresh food.

McDonald said the city approached every other major grocery chain about locating in Trotwood. Talks that began with GFS about six months ago paid off, she said.

Dempsey said the company moved the Trotwood renovation ahead of several others planned this year.

“We made it a priority because of the need in the community,” he said.

GFS has been working with the Trotwood’s planning and economic development department to coordinate a new left turn pattern from State Route 49 into the current location, according to Trotwood officials.

The project will take about 10 weeks once plans are approved by Trotwood, according to the company.

“You can be assured we will be moving as fast as we can on our end to make this happen,” McDonald said.

Cub Foods shuttered three local groceries in 2013, including one on Salem Avenue in Trotwood. Foodtown owner Jim Davis said he closed last year in Trotwood and Tipp City because they were not profitable.

MORE: Cub Foods closing Trotwood store

Dempsey said the new GFS model should thrive due to its mix of wholesale sales and retail sales.

“We are a unique retailer in that we serve a broad audience of both food service restaurant operators and home consumers,” he said. “That makes us a little different than regular retail grocery stores.”

Dempsey would not divulge whether the concept is under consideration for other area stores, including those at 2943 Harshman Rd in Dayton, 2930 Wilmington Pike in Kettering and in Miamisburg at 8499 North Springboro Pike. The company operates 176 stores in 11 states.

“We’ve always been open to the public. We’ve always served retail customers in our stores,” he said. “But this is a step towards making sure our stores are relevant to today’s consumers who want fresh and convenient food.”

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