EDMOND — It's fitting that on Leap Day, Oklahoma City's quantum leap in the grocery business reaches a new plateau.
Crest has its flagship store in south Oklahoma City, Whole Foods planted its flag near Nichols Hills, and today the owners of Buy For Less unveil their crown jewel, the Uptown Grocery Co., 1230 W Covell Road.
Owners Hank and Susan Binkowski spent nearly four years researching and developing the project. The result is a premium grocery store that looks like it was dislodged from Bricktown and airlifted to its home on Covell Road just west of Kelly Avenue.
While Hank Binkowski has built a chain of more than a dozen stores from Norman to Edmond since 1988, Susan has spent her career as a real estate developer. The two combined to make Uptown come to fruition.
“I've spent the last two years on this project,” she said. “I wanted this place to have a woman's stamp on it. My husband gave us a great floor plan to work with.”
What does that mean? Susan said women will not shiver when they shop in Uptown Grocery.
“I'm always in a rush to get out of grocery stores because I'm freezing,” she said. “That won't be the case here.”
The Binkowskis will offer a huge deli and bakery plus a large number of prepared foods, including soup and salad bar, sushi station, artisanal cheese and pizza counter. Takeaway items such as rotisserie chicken, barbecue and a bevy of salads, will be available at the Gourmet Grille, under the direction of chef Jermiah Duddleston.
The prepared foods are anchored at the north end of the store, which has its own entry and exit.
“I wanted people to be able to swing in and swing out if they needed to,” Susan said.
But the area also will have groceries available to complement the prepared foods.
“You can also grab a carton of milk or juice there,” Susan said. “That way you don't have to fight through the grocery shoppers just to get something to drink with your takeout.”
The north portion of the market also includes a demonstration kitchen for cooking classes, plus a dining area.
The entire building is about 48,000 square feet with roughly 35,000 of those available to shoppers. The prepared foods take up about a quarter of that, with the remainder housing a mix of basic to premium groceries, including a butcher shop with dry-aged prime beef plus a multitude of organic and natural ingredients and products. But you will be able to find dish soap, snack foods, beverages and cleaning products from mainstream brands as well as boutiques.
The store also will carry plenty of local products, such as Peach Crest Farms produce.
A hub at the front of the store is home to a master florist and event planning and catering services.
Susan said she wanted to offer not only the items a person needed for an event, but also the help and guidance needed to make it special.
The grand opening for Uptown Grocery Co. is set for 9 a.m. Wednesday.
If You Go
Uptown Grocery Co.
Where: 1230 W Covell Road, Edmond.
When: Grand opening today at 9 a.m.; regular hours will be 6 a.m. to midnight daily.
Grand opening information: Guest chefs will offer free demonstrations throughout the day. The Food Dude is scheduled for 4 p.m. For more information, call 509-2700 or go to online to www.uptowngroceryco.com.