It’s official – Heinen’s has made its debut in downtown Cleveland! As a downtown resident, I couldn’t be more excited about this new addition to the city. I was expressing this excitement to a friend of mine when he asked what all the fuss was about. It’s just a grocery store, so what’s the big deal?
I had to laugh because there is a lot of truth in that statement, but Heinen’s setting up shop in downtown is so much bigger than just a place to buy your weekly groceries. Having a full-service grocery store in the heart of downtown symbolizes the growth of our city. It is a living, breathing example of how far Cleveland has come in recent years.
The addition of a grocery store also shows where our city is headed. While Heinen’s has admitted that Cleveland does not yet have enough residents to support their downtown store, residency is expected to grow from 13,000 to 18,000 in the next three years. Heinen’s not only represents our city’s future, but also our past. Heinen’s took over the AmeriTrust Tower that had been vacant for over 40 years and completely renovated the building.
I visited Heinen’s for the first time on Sunday afternoon. Aside from just admiring the beautiful space, I was thrilled to see that the store was full of shoppers. When you first enter the store you are greeted with the vastness of the rotunda. Fresh food stations circle the room, with tables brilliantly placed in the middle. What better place to enjoy your Fair Trade coffee or freshly prepared food than right in the middle of it all? Head upstairs and you’re greeted with an extensive beer and wine selection. You even have the option to do tastings right there!
Downstairs you’ll find a more traditional grocery store but with an urban flair. Aisle ways are closer together, so you may get cozy with patrons you’re passing. Produce, frozen food and dry food all line the shelves in this area.
Cleveland is well on her way to becoming a respectable and thriving city. Whether that’s depicted in the addition of a full service grocery store in downtown Cleveland, the numerous new hotels popping up or the complete overhaul of Public Square, growth is happening all around us.