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Chicago grocer Foxtrot opening Gold Coast store – Crain’s Chicago Business

After announcing an ambitious plan a few months ago to open 50 stores in the next two years, Foxtrot isn’t wasting time breaking ground on new locations.

The Chicago-based corner store chain is opening a new store Oct. 9 at 23 W. Maple St. in the Gold Coast.

The 3,600-square-foot store is Foxtrot’s 10th Chicago location and 14th in the country. The brand also has outposts in Washington, D.C., and Dallas.

The company has been looking for the right real estate in Gold Coast for at least three years, says co-founder and CEO Mike LaVitola.

“The Gold Coast has unsurprisingly been at the top of our list for a very long time, but it’s really important for us to not only find the right neighborhoods, but also the right buildings in the right neighborhoods,” LaVitola said.

The store, Foxtrot’s largest yet, will have more grocery, alcohol and grab-and-go foods than other locations, LaVitola said. The menu includes smoked salmon avocado toast, an autumn couscous bowl and tahini yogurt fruit bowls, as well as a full coffee bar with Metric Coffee. To help expand menu offerings, the company hired former Momofuku executive chef Tae Strain earlier this year to lead culinary development.

Foxtrot launched online in 2014, delivering beer, wine and other snacks, and opened its first brick-and-mortar shop in 2016. The delivery business allows Foxtrot to strategically pick new locations for brick-and-mortar stores.

“Having started as a delivery company, we know where a lot of our customers live,” LaVitola said.

Foxtrot now has stores in Wicker Park, Lincoln Park, Old Town, River North, the West Loop and other neighborhoods.

Like many grocers and delivery services, Foxtrot thrived during the pandemic, which helped spawn expansion. LaVitola declined to say whether Foxtrot is profitable or share specific revenue figures, but said revenue has doubled in 2021. About half of its sales are from in-person shoppers and half are online.

The Gold Coast store is the first opening since Foxtrot announced its plans to open 50 stores in the next two years. Four more stores will open this year, with about 20 opening next year, LaVitola said.

“We’re always looking all over the city to find spots for new locations,” LaVitola said.

He says Foxtrot, which employs more than 500 people, plans to open a store at its Fulton Market corporate headquarters under construction at 171 S. Green St. Other new locations are coming to Lakeview, the Willis Tower, Hyde Park and the northwest suburbs.

To date, Foxtrot has raised $65 million in venture capital funding. Investors include Morningstar founder Joe Mansueto; Walter Robb, former co-CEO of Whole Foods; Almanac Insights, a New York-based venture fund, and Los Angeles-based Monogram Capital Partners.

LaVitola said Foxtrot will likely raise more funding in the future to support its expansion, though he didn’t provide specific fundraising plans.

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