Restaurant Depot opening on Brook Road

A food wholesaler that caters to independent restaurants and food service businesses will open this month in the former Kroger store in the Northpark shopping center at the intersection of Parham and Brook Roads at I-95.

New York-based Restaurant Depot is planning to open at the site Feb. 27.

The company operates cash-and-carry stores that are designed specifically for independently owned restaurants, catering companies and other food-oriented businesses and nonprofits, according to Ray Mallin, the branch manager of the company's Alexandria location.

Restaurant Depot is not open to the public. Businesses interested in shopping at the location must meet membership criteria, though memberships are free.

The Henrico location will be managed by Tom Fruchter and is expected to employ about 40 people, Mallin said. The company has filled most of its employee openings but is still interviewing candidates for the remaining spots, he said.

The company has nearly 100 stores in 27 states, including Virginia. This will be its third Virginia store but first in Central Virginia.

"Richmond is a thriving area, and we feel that it's going to do well for us," Mallin said. "There are a number of independently owned restaurants there."

Company officials already have visited most of the independently owned restaurants and catering services in the region, Mallin said, to make them aware of Restaurant Depot's arrival. In addition to selling food and beverages, the company also sells equipment and supplies.

"Service and value sets us apart," Mallin said.

The company's new home in Henrico has been vacant more than a year, since Kroger closed its location there Nov. 18, 2011.
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