Crest Foods opens its newest store, an upscale Fresh Market, Wednesday in south Oklahoma City. "I think we're going to surprise a lot of people when they walk in,” said company President Bruce Harroz. The 95,000-square-foot grocery store is receiving the finishing touches this week. Construction crews have been working on the project at SW 104 Street and S May Avenue for about a year. The 24-hour store will include features similar to other major grocery chains, such as a Bank of Oklahoma branch. But it also will feature a drive-through pharmacy and wellness clinic. It also marks the first time Crest has added a sushi bar and fresh floral department, Harroz said. Premium, natural beef with no hormones or antibiotics will be sold in the meat department and the produce is up front — emphasizing the store's focus on freshness, he said. The company researched grocery store trends here and in other markets, such as Kansas City and Dallas, before deciding what amenities to incorporate into the store. Harroz said although the store is a new, more upscale look for the Edmond-based grocer, the "rock bottom prices” will remain. "We're proud of this. It's a big step for us,” said Vice President Kevin Ergenbright. Crest had looked at the property years ago but decided to build stores in Edmond and Moore first. And because the company owns their stores and avoids carrying debt, new stores are typically opened several years apart, Harroz said. Market research told Harroz the newest Crest store would be in one of the city's wealthiest ZIP codes — 73170 — and a fast-growing area. Harroz said he listens to customers when deciding where to locate. "People were e-mailing us and sending us letters and saying 'please come to south Oklahoma City,'” Harroz said. Residents here are not lacking for grocery stores, however. There's a Homeland one block east at Chatenay Square, on SW 104 and S Pennsylvania Avenue, and a Walmart Neighborhood Market another block east at S Western Avenue. Harroz said there are plenty of shoppers in the area and Crest's easy access to Interstate 44 (a mile to the west) will be a boost to sales, Harroz said. Murals, colorful signage and nods to the company's roots in Midwest City can be seen throughout the new store, including a black-and-white photo of Harroz's father and company founder, Nick Harroz Jr., at his first store — Nick's Brett Drive Grocery opened in 1946 — inside the front entrance and a huge sculpture of him in front of the store. Crest Fresh Market will employ about 300 people and become the seventh Crest Foods store in the Oklahoma City metro area.
ABOUT CREST FRESH MARKET
• Location: SW 104 and May Avenue.
• Hours: Opens 10 a.m. Wednesday, operates 24-hours a day, seven days a week.
• Amenities: A sushi bar, full-service bakery and deli, farm fresh produce, all-natural beef, floral department, pharmacy, wellness center and Bank of Oklahoma branch.