instore - January 2018 - 15

cover story

I

t's not every day you find yourself asking
directions to a grocery store that's just a
few feet away. It's even weirder when the
person you're asking is a security guard in a
downtown office building.
Located in the historic 680 N. Lake Shore
Drive building in Chicago's Streeterville
neighborhood, Treasure Island Foods shares
a columned marble hallway with a coffee
shop, a bank, a salon, a dry cleaners, a restaurant and other businesses. The upper stories
of the building, which takes up an entire
block in the heart of downtown, hold offices
and residences.

PHOTOS: ANDY NELSON -SOSLAND PUBLISHING COMPANY

Small, plain lettering above the store's
entrance -the same font as all the building's
tenants -announces that you've arrived
at Treasure Island. But as different as the
location and approach to the Streeterville
Treasure Island are, once you're inside, all
you're conscious of is being in a really good
grocery store, particularly when it comes
to prepared foods. And a top-to-bottom
renovation this year, culminating in an
October reopening, has made everything
even better.
The Treasure Island chain was founded in
Chicago in 1963 by brothers Frank and Christ
Kamberos. From the beginning, they had the
idea of importing foods from Europe that no
other U.S. grocer had.
They also saw the "grocerant" future long
before the word was even invented, says
Bob Zenawick, the company's vice president
of operations. "They had a vision," he says.
"Things that other stores are doing now, they
were doing 50 years ago."
Frank Blackwell Jr., the Streeterville store's
manager, couldn't agree more. "You never
saw those things until one of our stores had
them," he says. "Now everybody has them."
Blackwell would know. He started working at
Treasure Island in 1968. Treasure Island ran
in the family -Blackwell's uncle was the store
manager and his father the night manager.

Streeterville is the third store in the sevenunit chain to be renovated; the rest will soon
follow suit. "We want them all to look like this!"
Blackwell says. Treasure Island's Gold Coast
store was remodeled in 2015. (Other stores are
located in the Hyde Park, Old Town, Lincoln
Park and Lakeview neighborhoods of Chicago
and in the Chicago suburb of Wilmette,
Illinois.)
Treasure Island's big bet on downtown
Chicago is definitely paying off, and its rivals
are taking note, Bob says. "Other stores
-Mariano's, Whole Foods -have tried to
emulate us by moving downtown. They see
the advantages of being in the city."
The Streeterville store has perfected the art
of packing a lot into a small space, a skill that
requires a keen curatorial eye. An intimate
understanding of its clientele's needs is a must
to make it successful. Being small, of course,
has its own rewards. "We have a good variety
of products - all kinds of specialty items, but
also the brand names," Zenawick says. "At the
same time, we have a very small footprint. It's
cozy, quaint, easy to shop and easy to get in
and get out. It makes us really unique."

Grocery store...
or restaurant?
Blackwell characterized the remodel as a
comprehensive "top to bottom" job, with
expanded office space for the staff and
upgrades to all of the store's departments. At
the heart of the effort, say both Blackwell and
Zenawick, were upgrades to the store's deli,
bakery and - especially -prepared foods.
A chalkboard just inside the front doors
announces, "We are now serving hot breakfast
Monday - Sunday." Treasure Island's commitment to ready-to-eat is also written on the deli
walls -literally. Two slogans in big type greet
you as you enter the department: "Let's Eat"
and "Grab & Go." In the center section of the
deli, where cooks prepare foods in full view
of consumers throughout the day, two other
signs, "Carving Board" and "Pizza & Sushi,"

instore * JANUARY 2018 * 15



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of instore - January 2018

instore - January 2018
Editor's Note - Another wild (and fun) ride
CONTENTS
News - Need to Know
Spotlight - By the numbers: Prepared entrees
Product Knowledge - CATEGORY UPDATE: Snacking cheese
Cover Story - Downtown treasure
Industry Perspective - Label limbo
Merchandising - ON DISPLAY: Grab ‘n Go Dips
Feature - Cleaning the instore label
Commissary Insider
Insight Insider: Prairie City Bakery
Food Safety: Tamper-evident packaging
Equipment: Sanitation strategies for ready-to-eat products
R&D: How hot should you go?
Product Category Spotlight: Breakfast sandwiches
Equipment & Packaging - LATEST INNOVATION: Rapid-cook ovens
Product Trends - FIRST TO MARKET
AD INDEX
instore - January 2018 - instore - January 2018
instore - January 2018 - instore - January 2018
instore - January 2018 - 2
instore - January 2018 - Editor's Note - Another wild (and fun) ride
instore - January 2018 - 4
instore - January 2018 - 5
instore - January 2018 - CONTENTS
instore - January 2018 - 7
instore - January 2018 - News - Need to Know
instore - January 2018 - 9
instore - January 2018 - Spotlight - By the numbers: Prepared entrees
instore - January 2018 - 11
instore - January 2018 - Product Knowledge - CATEGORY UPDATE: Snacking cheese
instore - January 2018 - 13
instore - January 2018 - Cover Story - Downtown treasure
instore - January 2018 - 15
instore - January 2018 - 16
instore - January 2018 - 17
instore - January 2018 - 18
instore - January 2018 - 19
instore - January 2018 - Industry Perspective - Label limbo
instore - January 2018 - 21
instore - January 2018 - 22
instore - January 2018 - 23
instore - January 2018 - Merchandising - ON DISPLAY: Grab ‘n Go Dips
instore - January 2018 - 25
instore - January 2018 - Feature - Cleaning the instore label
instore - January 2018 - 27
instore - January 2018 - 28
instore - January 2018 - Insight Insider: Prairie City Bakery
instore - January 2018 - 30
instore - January 2018 - 31
instore - January 2018 - 32
instore - January 2018 - 33
instore - January 2018 - Food Safety: Tamper-evident packaging
instore - January 2018 - Equipment: Sanitation strategies for ready-to-eat products
instore - January 2018 - R&D: How hot should you go?
instore - January 2018 - 37
instore - January 2018 - Product Category Spotlight: Breakfast sandwiches
instore - January 2018 - 39
instore - January 2018 - Equipment & Packaging - LATEST INNOVATION: Rapid-cook ovens
instore - January 2018 - Product Trends - FIRST TO MARKET
instore - January 2018 - AD INDEX
instore - January 2018 - 43
instore - January 2018 - 44
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