- Chicago grocery startup Dom's Kitchen & Market plans to open a second location in the city in late 2022 and expects to have as many as 15 stores in operation by 2025, according to an emailed announcement from the company.
- Like the first Dom's location, the new store, destined for a 27,000-square-foot space at 1225 N. Wells St. in Chicago's Old Town neighborhood, will work closely with local suppliers and place strong emphasis on prepared foods, co-CEO Don Fitzgerald said.
- The budding chain is looking to the experience of its founders, who include Bob Mariano, founder of Kroger-owned banner Mariano's, as well as Fitzgerald and venture investor Jay Owen, as it puts down roots in the Windy City.
Dom's is looking to build on the early success it has had with its first store, which opened last June in Chicago's Lincoln Park district, as the chain develops plans for its second location and looks to scale.
The second store in the Dom's chain, which will be about 10,000 square feet larger than its predecessor, will retain some of the local suppliers the company is working with at the first location while also taking on new partnerships in the Old Town area, according to Fitzgerald.
The store will include a selected array of products that includes organic, seasonal and locally sourced items, along with chef-prepared meals and in-store seating, according to the announcement. Given its larger size, the store will feature a larger variety of goods than the original location, Fitzgerald said in an interview. He expects the location to employ between 150 and 200 people.
In the eight months Dom's has been open in its first location, the grocer has collected customer data that it's using to help inform its shopper behavior insights, Fitzgerald said.
"[T]he assortment will definitely increase, but we want to be true to the brand and do it in a way that's just not filling space but curated, because our customers have told us that's what they really enjoy," he said.
On the digital shopping front, Dom's plans to offer pickup through its Go Dom's e-commerce service and delivery through partners including DoorDash, Uber Eats and ChowNow at the Old Town store, as it does at the original location, Fitzgerald said.
Dom's, which has raised $25 million from investors to support its growth, is scouting potential locations for future stores and could open a third store in 2022 "if the stars align," Fitzgerald said, noting that the grocer is building a team that can support growth as they "aggressively go after additional locations."
Dom's is intent on holding onto its Chicago roots, but is open to expanding beyond the city limits.
"We've had people in the suburbs who have said, 'Hey, how can I get one in my town, in my city?' And we're open to that," Fitzgerald said. "But [Dom's] is a Chicago company, a Chicago story, and we're committed to Chicago."