Fresh as Fresh Can Be
With nine markets throughout Rhode Island, Dave’s Marketplace is known for their beautifully designed stores, exceptional customer service, affordable prices and fresh produce, meat and seafood. The independent grocery market chain – the state’s largest – is also lauded for their ever-expanding prepared foods section. “It’s an around-the-clock operation,” says Executive Chef and Culinary Director Sean Devlin. “We are prepping and cooking food 24 hours a day.”
Each of the nine locations has a fully loaded in-store kitchen with a professional culinary staff. There’s also an industrial-grade commissary based in East Greenwich that meticulously prepares most of Dave’s On The Go, their pre-packaged homestyle comfort food line. “Everything is personally handled,” explains Director of Perishables Lou Aragao. “We might do huge volume, but we are chopping, dicing, roasting, grilling and preparing everything by hand each day.”
Indeed, it takes a village of dedicated and well-trained employees to keep all of the deli cases, sidewalls and gourmet food stations brimming with delicious, made-from-scratch food. In fact, of the 1,500 Dave’s Marketplace employees, 400 work in prepared foods. And with 120,000 customers shopping at the supermarket weekly, the demand keeps growing.
Dining at Home with Dine Out Quality
While convenience, selection and price are important factors when it comes to prepared food, “the quality is paramount,” says Lou. “We want the food that is cooked in our kitchens to wow you in your dining room.”
It starts, quite simply, with an endless supply of fresh ingredients. The culinary team has an unmatched access to in-season produce, freshly caught seafood, house-butchered meats and unique and in-demand foods (such as farro, quinoa, fresh herbs and specialty cheeses). “It’s any chef’s dream,” says Sean. “We have deliveries seven days a week. Having access to such a wide range of food makes all the difference.” Being on the frontlines also allows the culinary staff to make seasonally inspired adjustments to the menus. “We love to get creative,” says Lou. From conducting constant market research and monitoring food trends to Dave’s ongoing recipe development and encouraging an open dialogue with their customers, the staff here is always looking to set the bar even higher. “We get so many ideas from our customers. We love their feedback,” says Lou.
Selection, Selection, Selection
When you stroll through the prepared foods section at any Dave’s, it’s hard not to be overwhelmed by the sheer selection. “We might have six or seven types of grilled salmon available on any given day,” says Lou. “We probably grill more salmon in day than most restaurants do in a month. And we sell more than 1,000 pieces each week!” The volume and selection is absolutely staggering, especially when you consider that most of the dishes are made in small batches to ensure freshness. On top of it all, the staff has the highest standards when it comes to food safety. “We are so diligent with our preparations and packaging – all without preservatives mind you – so that our foods will still be fresh and delicious when you take it home,” says Lou.
With restaurant-like food quality, a top-notch culinary team, a welcoming shopping experience and a drive for excellence, Dave’s puts the super in supermarket.