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BATTLE CREEK, Mich. - Felpausch, a family- and associate-owned retail chain, has rolled out its new concept store, Zucca's by Felpausch.
The approximately 35,000-square-foot store, converted from a Felpausch Food Center, features organic and specialty items, including more than 3,000 new natural and organic products, 50 varieties of imported cheeses, expanded wine and produce departments, a full-service meat and seafood department, a bakery that makes fresh artisan breads and pastries, and a deli and kitchen.
"Through studies we learned that customers were traveling out of the Battle Creek area to get their specialty items," dir. Of public relations Janine Dalman told Progressive Grocer in an interview. "We wanted to provide them with a centralized area where they can find these items."
According to Dalman, the Zucca's store will differ from the Felpausch Food Centers in a number of ways, in addition to the increased variety of organic and specialty foods. "It is more focused on service," she said. "But not just service -- it is also more focused on knowledge, as well. We have many in-house experts, such as a master baker, cheese specialist, meat cutter, seafood specialist, and wine specialist, who are here to answer questions and educate the consumer."
Add restauranteur to the list. Felpausch purchased the licensed name of a well-known local chef, Malias, to brand some prepared meals made by -- the chef himself, whom the company hired to work on staff.
Zucca's will also offer a weekly cooking school for its customers, in which groups of 30 will learn how to prepare gourmet meals. "There is nothing like this in the area, but it is definitely something our customers wanted, so we just responded to their needs," said Dalman.