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Article updated: 2/25/2013 10:41 AM

Shoppers drive competition as new grocers expand in suburbs

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Produce clerk Charlie Gimmler of Palatine stocks apples and other produce at Mariano's in Palatine. Fresh produce is in high demand in the suburbs, so grocers pay special attention to it.

Photos by Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

Uncle Joe's Tuscan Fresh Market is expected to open soon in a long vacant former Dominick's supermarket in Rolling Meadows.

Daily Herald file photo

Avery Osby of Hoffman Estates grills some meat for a customer at Mariano's in Palatine. There's a seating area for customers to eat inside the store.

What's offered behind all the counters at suburban grocery stores, like the deli counter at this Mariano's in Palatine, is separating some of the stores from the others. Suburban customers like prepared foods -- if they're fresh and healthy.

Photos by Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

Mariano's is one of the recent players in the competition for suburban shoppers.

Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

Mariano's is one of the recent players in the competition for suburban shoppers.

Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

Cori Baum of Hoffman Estates serves pizza at Mariano's in Palatine. Hot food offerings provide easy dinner options for suburban customers.

Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

Jewel-Oscos in Wheaton and other suburbs have lowered prices to try to compete with Target and Walmart.

Daily Herald file photo

Mariano's Fresh Market opened in 2010 in Arlington Heights. It opened in 2012 in Palatine and Hoffman Estates.

Daily Herald File Photo

CEO Bob Mariano of Inverness stands at the deli counter of Mariano's Fresh Market in Arlington Heights.

Daily Herald file photo

Produce expert Joe Bosch points out something to another employee at the Jewel-Osco in Elburn.

Daily Herald file photo

About this Article

With Jewel in limbo pending a sale to an investor group, other major grocers are taking a lead in the Chicago suburbs, including Mariano's, Meijers, and others. The latest entry is Uncle Joe's Tuscan Market, set to open in Rolling Meadows. For now, consumers are the winners, with plenty of options for comparison shopping and specialty foods and services.
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