International Grocer Eyes Former Food Lion Spot
Posted: February 28, 2013
Mark Seder of Berryville is a weekly shopper at Food Maxx, a grocery store specializing in international fare, in Winchester. The grocer is planning to open its second shop in the former Food Lion location at West Market Street’s Waterman Square in Harrisonburg. (Photo by Jeff Taylor / Byrd Newspapers)
Lulu Creamer-Bean of Martinsburg, W.Va., shops for fresh tilapia at the Food Maxx in Winchester. Billy Han, the store’s general manager, says the Harrisonburg location will be similar to the one in Winchester but the stock will depend on demand. (Photo by Jeff Taylor / Byrd Newspapers)
Food Maxx, a grocer specializing in international goods, is set to open in the spring at the Waterman Square shopping center on West Market Street in the old Food Lion location. (Photo by Michael Reilly / DN-R)
Food Maxx of Winchester plans to open its second location this spring in the former Food Lion space in West Market Street’s Waterman Square.
It is unaffiliated with FoodMaxx, a discount supermarket chain that operates locations in California and Nevada.
Construction is under way at the former Food Lion to transform it back into a grocery store.
The grocer left a major void in Waterman Square when it left about seven years ago. That void was filled temporarily by The Event Center, an open space rental hall that opened in 2011.
Steve Hill, owner of The Event Center, said the venture was successful, but he ultimately couldn’t compete with Food Maxx’s offer of a 10-year lease to the property owner, Terry Court Properties of Staunton.
The Harrisonburg Food Maxx represents the first expansion for the company.
Selecta Food Inc. opened its first Food Maxx in the northern Shenandoah Valley in September 2011, General Manager Billy Han said.
It specializes in international products with a focus on Asian and Hispanic food but also offers Caribbean and Indian selections.
“We just wanted to expand and [Harrisonburg] seemed like a good location to set up our second home,” Han said.
Food Maxx will be competing with several smaller grocers in the city catering to international tastes.
Han said the Harrisonburg store would be similar to the one in Winchester, but its stock will depend on demand in the area. He said the store would open in “a month or two.”
“We’re going to be offering international goods. … You might be able to find main staple things at like a Kroger, for example, but there are a lot of things we do carry that you won’t be able to get at a local grocery store, and we also have fresh fish,” he said, adding that Food Maxx will carry 30 varieties of fish, most of which won’t ever have been frozen.
The area’s immigrant population played a factor in drawing Food Maxx, Han said.
The nonnative population has been steadily growing since the 1990s, and now 14 percent of city residents are foreign-born, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates for 2009 to 2011.
Contact Jeremy Hunt at 574-6273 or email@example.com