Orchard Market Prepares for January Opening


Owners Susan and Archie Argyron, Dianne and Dave Smith are ready to take your order. (Photo: Wendy Heise)

Update: Orchard Fresh Market will open Sunday, March 1, 2009 at 7 a.m.  The breakfast menu mentioned below will be offered at a later date.

Photos: Orchard Fresh Market VIP Tour

Park Forest, IL–(ENEWSPF)– Park Foresters will want to change shopping patterns soon. The Park Forest Village Board, staff members, and members of boards and commissions took a tour of Orchard Fresh Market last week, the store that will occupy a large portion of the former Sterk’s grocery store on South Orchard Drive. The plan to make the store more than just a place to buy groceries.

Village Manager Tom Mick began the tour encouraging those on the tour to spread the news about the new store, “Word of mouth is the best seller at all times. I trust the new operators will have a fantastic product.”

Two families will run the store. Owners Dave Smith and his wife Dianne introduced themselves along with Archie Argyron and his wife Susan took over the tour after Manager Mick’s introduction.

“We’re the ones with the dishpan hands,” Dave Smith chuckled.

Smith said the Health Department was “thoroughly impressed” with what they saw during their inspections. “The gentleman that was with the health inspector is a Cook County inspector himself. He said the last time he was here he gave a 2-page report, and today the report was two paragraphs.”

The new owners completely took apart the coolers and display cases left by the former Sterk’s management, cleaning everything from the inside out, according to Smith. Floors beneath display cases were then scrubbed. The store will have six aisles of groceries in addition to the deli, produce, fish and meat departments. All shelving units were also disassembled and power-washed, Smith said. The owners were still awaiting the arrival of three new meat cases.

“We tore all these cases from the ground up, washed the floors, built the cases back up. They’re all like brand new.”

“It’s a new era over here,” Smith said.

Smith said the store will offer free breakfasts for seniors in a dining area that will feature a plasma television. “We’re going to have $1.99 breakfast for everyone else, free coffee. So the seniors can come in, have coffee, drink all day.” What does $1.99 buy for breakfast? “Two eggs, bacon or sausage, biscuits or pancakes,” said Smith.

“I want to make everyone in the Village feel comfortable here. This is their family store. I don’t care if they come sit here all day and watch TV. The more people feel comfortable in their own Village, the more they’re going to tell other people to come here, shop here, and want to be here. That’s just the way it should be everywhere you go.”

The owners plan to have a soft opening by the end of January. They will have to close the doors for a day to install new interior signs that are still on order. A grand opening will follow.

Photos: Orchard Fresh Market VIP Tour