Tony’s Finer Foods to open Wednesday
By Bob okon firstname.lastname@example.org January 4, 2013 8:02PM
Chris Seweryn, deli supervisor, prices meat at Super Tony's Finer Foods Friday, Jan. 4, 2013, at 2300 Rt. 59 in Joliet. The business will open Jan. 9. | Matthew Grotto~Sun-Times Media
Updated: February 7, 2013 6:36AM
JOLIET — Tony’s Finer Foods will open Wednesday, and management has a feeling that business will be good in Joliet.
The store is the ninth for Tony’s and the farthest away from Chicago, where the company started in 1979.
Tony’s seems to have more name recognition in Joliet than Jim Marnos expected. Marnos, director of human resources, has been part of the management team getting the store ready at the shopping center on the corner of Route 59 and Caton Farm Road.
“I’ll go to the restaurants in the neighborhood,” Marnos said, “and I have my Tony’s jacket on and people come up and say, ‘Oh, when are you opening? We need a store like yours.’ ”
Marnos said Friday he had not expected to meet so many people who already are Tony’s customers.
“It’s interesting to hear people say, ‘I shop in your store in Bridgeview,’ ” he said. “I didn’t know our name reached out this far.”
Tony’s was sought by the city, which wanted to quickly replace Strack & Van Til when that supermarket closed at the same location in the summer.
“I think it’s a big project for us,” Mayor Thomas Giarrante said. “It’s a good catch for the city of Joliet.”
Giarrante said Joliet wanted to attract a grocery that could bring something different to the city. He believes Tony’s Finer Foods fills the bill with special offerings, including custom-cut meats, ethnic foods and large produce and deli sections.
“The bakery is unbelievable,” the mayor said.
Marnos said he believes Joliet customers will find Tony’s to be a unique store.
The store strives for uniqueness, looking for local and independent vendors with products that customers are not likely to find elsewhere.
“I definitely think they’re going to find some things that they’ve never seen before,” Marnos said.
Company owners Tony Ingraffia and Domenico Gambino will be among those greeting customers at the store Wednesday, Marnos said. Customers should feel free to suggest products they don’t see on the store shelves, he said.
The store opens at 7 a.m. Wednesday. Tony’s has hired about 200 employees. About 50 of them are full time.
The city is contemplating a tax break, which would rebate $200,000 in sales tax revenue generated by the store to offset the cost of development. The tax break has not yet been presented to the city council, which would have to approve it before it can take effect.
Other Tony’s Finer Foods stores are in Bridgeview, Niles, North Riverside and Melrose Park. The company has four locations in Chicago, including its first store on Fullerton Avenue.