For all the years that Wichita native Leslie Rudd owned Dean & Deluca, Wichitans hoped that he’d bring one of the upscale grocery stores here.
Now, less than a year after Rudd sold the business to Thailand-based Pace Development Corp., the store is going to open one of its cafes in the Shops at Tallgrass near the northeast corner of 21st and Rock Road.
“How ’bout that?” says Justin Seamonds, Dean & Deluca president.
“We’re here,” he says of the company’s headquarters, distribution center and customer care center, “and because the community has always seemed to be so enthusiastic about it … it just kind of makes sense for us to do.”
The 3,000-square-foot store, which will be between Title Boxing Club and Smallcakes, will open this fall.
“We’re still working on the food program and what we’re going to do,” Seamonds says. “It won’t be a full market.”
He says there will be a “pretty full retail component,” and there will be an espresso bar and sandwiches “for sure,” along with grab-and-go salads most likely.
Seamonds doubts there will be fresh meat and seafood for sale, though nothing has been finalized yet.
He says some of the chain’s signature items, such as olive oil and “sugary sweets,” will be staples at the store.
Seamonds says the company has new technology, which is part of the reason to open a store here now.
“Being able to test some of that in a real, live store environment,” he says, “is also a very exciting thing for us.”
Don Piros and Craig Simon of Landmark Commercial Real Estate handled the deal for the Wichita space.
Dean & Deluca started in New York in 1977. Today it has 11 stores nationally and 34 internationally.
Look for more details closer to the store’s opening.