If success leaves clues Tom Douglas a Seattle, Washington Chef, Author, Radio-TV personality is an example of a foodie that understand the evolving food marketplace, the consumer, and that “better for you” food is better for both the top and bottom line. Tom and his wife grow much of their produce on a farm in Prosser, Washington (Eastern Washington where warm weather and sun elevate freshness) for his 12 restaurants in Western Washington.
Tom Douglas has the pulse of today’s consumer he is preparing to enter the fastest growing sector of retail foodservice the grocerant niche. Understanding that the consumer is dynamic not static Douglas is preparing to open four new food outlets all under one roof. They include a restaurant called the Grange Hall, a bakery, coffee café and an “urban market” with his own line of fresh and prepared foods. All targeted at the time starved consumer, all with Take-Out, Take-Away options.
This new urban market place will focus on the customer creating a platform for convenient meal participation, differentiation and individualization. Customers can choose to eat it now, or eat it later Douglas is focusing on the grocerant niche with ready-2-eat and neat-N-eat fresh and prepared food options that are branded by Tom Douglas which creates a halo of better for you.
Technology has created a world in which omnichannel retail is becoming the standard for all food retailers. Some of the items offered will include pasta to soups and meatballs and entire dinners. Part of the market will also have a small non-food section with items like toilet paper.
Douglas urban market reminds me a lot of Eatzi’s in Dallas (the first Grocerant) and Eataly in New York City. The first Eatzi’s is currently doing 17 million a year in sales and Eataly is doing 60 million a year in sales. Seattle, is about to get its first original grocerant and no one could be better suited to succeed than Tom Douglas. Integrating omnichannel retail with a branded restaurant focused on better for you food that is ready-2-eat or heat-N-eat is a powerful driver of success.