Heinen's Fine Foods opened its long-anticipated store in Barrington Wednesday morning -- the first expansion outside greater Cleveland for the 83-year-old, family-owned chain.
The store at 500 N. Hough St. was approved last October to fill the 38,000-square-foot building formerly occupied by Staples. Heinen's is expected to bring 80 new jobs to the village.
There are now 18 Heinen's locations, descendants of a butcher shop the current owners' grandfather opened in 1929 after emigrating from Germany.
Co-owner Jeff Heinen said the decision to expand to the Chicago area and make Barrington its first location here came after about two years of research. The company was looking for communities where the value and quality of food were ranked at least the same level as price.
But throughout the process, Barrington officials were actively encouraging the decision.
Economic and Community Development Director Peggy Blanchard first traveled to Ohio in 2007 to meet with Heinen's owners and ask them to consider Barrington if they ever expanded to the Chicago area.
The region was chosen as a sufficiently large market within range of the company's existing distribution center.
Unlike Barrington's forthcoming Ace Hardware store approved this week, Heinen's chose the village without any kind of economic incentive agreement.
While no hardware store currently exists in Barrington despite high public demand, Heinen's is joining the long established Jewel-Osco at 150 W. Main St. in providing groceries in the village.