It’s opening week for the new Heinen’s Fine Foods store in Barrington! They’ll officially open for business at 10 a.m. this Wednesday, August 22nd. Heinen’s teams have been hard at work, stocking shelves and getting ready for opening day. We recently toured the store to share a preview of the new food shopping experience we’ll soon have here in Barrington.
Our tour guide was Heinen’s Marketing Director, Kathryn Falls. We started in the produce department, ended in the Wellness Center and were full of anticipation for the store’s grand opening when we parted ways by the checkout aisles. Along the way, we met a few of the people Heinen’s has hired to run the Barrington store plus some of the corporate chefs & merchandisers in town for this week’s opening day.
One of the faces you’re sure to see when you shop at Heinen’s in Barrington is Grocery Manager, Adam Ripley.
“I’ll always be on the floor, coaching my team, working with the customers, building displays and just educating the public and my staff.” Heinen’s relocated Adam from Ohio to help run the Barrington store and he admits he’s still adjusting to the area. “I’ve never dealt with so much traffic in my life, I’ll tell you that much, and the whole train concept is new to me. But I’ve never met so many friendly people and I look forward to introducing you to the unique foods we offer at Heinen’s, especially in our Wellness Center. Anything I can do to help encourage healthy eating habits is where I really find my passion.”
In the Produce Department, we caught up with Chris Fitzsimmons who was prepping the terra cotta containers Heinen’s uses with their produce displays. Chris is in charge of trimming Heinen’s produce and says one of the reasons they hired him is because he has 17+ years of experience in the produce department at another Chicagoland grocer. “Working for Heinen’s is a very different experience from what I’m used to. It’s ‘Shock and Awe’ when you see this place filled with the variety of produce, meats and cheeses and it’s how your shopping experience should be. Shopping here is not all ‘in-and-out’. They want you to take your time while you shop, sample foods or simply try something new.”
Our tour guide, Kathryn, says Heinen’s is well known for its premium grade fruits and veggies. “People are wowed when they see our produce because we are a stickler for detail. Whether you’re buying blueberries or grape tomatoes, we feel they need to be consistent in size, color and quality. Our business philosophy is that, when you walk in the store, everything is picture perfect. Everything is top notch quality.”
And they use this produce to stock their salad bar, which we hear is a major highlight in their Prepared Meals section. One of the head corporate chefs told us you’ll find everything at this salad bar from traditional lettuces & toppings to Superfood Salad options including baby kale, baby spinach and ancient grains like lentils and quinoa. You’ll also find their signature prepared salads at the bar like Broccoli Delight, a top seller in Cleveland with broccoli, bacon, cashews and raisins.
We lingered a little in Heinen’s Meat & Seafood Departments, taking us back to the company’s roots. Joseph Heinen founded the company in 1929 when he opened the family’s first butcher shop. The Heinen brothers who run the company today are third generation owners of the business. And store merchandisers, like Eric Besselman, have personal relationships with the many of the fishermen and ranchers who produce their seafood and meats. “It’s a more relaxed feeling when you’re more in-tune with where your food comes from, how we get it, the stories behind the seafood and meats and produce in the store. It’s fun to come to work every day and sell that.”
By the time we got to the wine department, our jaws were on the floor as Kathryn told us about their relationships with winemakers around the world. They’ll actually be serving wines you can sample while you shop and will have wine experts and cheesemongers on hand offering tips about pairings and their favorite wines under $10.
Last, but not least, we met Kadi Shipley, the resident expert in Heinen’s Wellnes Center, which they say is the fastest growing department in the store. “In a three months span we brought in about 150 new items.” When we met Kadi, she was personally stocking the shelves in her own department.
Kadi’s the “go-to gal” for answers to any questions about wellness items like supplements, grains, raw proteins, dehydrated cookies, kale chips and their extensive selection of gluten-free products. “Usually people want to know my favorites, what gluten-free items I recommend, my favorite superfoods and what supplements they should be taking to help with various issues. I’m excited to be here in Barrington because I’ve seen the trails here. I’ve seen how many people are out walking and running and biking every day so I’m excited to be working with such a health conscious community.”
Check out the gallery below for more photos from our tour, click HERE or HERE for more information on the company’s move to Barrington and their upcoming events. And, to keep up with ongoing events and products at the new store, you’ll find their Barrington Facebook page by clicking HERE and their website at HeinensBarrington.com.