Progressive Grocer Independent

JUN 2016

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Cover Story 14 | Progressive Grocer Independent | June 2016 Dash's Market that keep bringing customers back, sometimes every day. When stufed hot peppers were frst introduced, demand was for about two cases per week, but now the department goes through about fve cases a day. Te Tanksgiving Leftovers sandwich, another customer favorite, features fresh-roasted turkey, house-made stufng, cranberry sauce and gravy piled atop thickly sliced scratch- made white bread. Dash's is also known for its slow- roasted chicken, which features a third leg. "We call it a three-legged chicken," Dash says. Te 3.5-pound chicken (plus a leg) is a departure from what many other stores are selling, which is a 2-pound chicken, Van Volkenburg notes. "You can feed a family of four, and your center of plate is only $7.50," he adds. Breakfast sandwiches are sold on Dash's signature English mufns, which are mischeviously known in the store as "Dash's Crack." "Once you eat them, you can't stop," Ma- honey quips. "Te café has been huge, huge for the store as a whole," Dash says. "It brings in a customer that maybe wouldn't normally shop with us. Tey come here and have breakfast, lunch or dinner with us, and then they'll start being converted into a Dash's customer and shop the whole grocery experience." When the prepared food depart- ment was frst introduced, it did about $5,000 in sales a week; this year, it will pull in more than $2 million at the East Amherst location alone, with about $5 million to $6 million company-wide. Accounting for 10 percent of sales, it is the fastest-grow- ing department in the company. The Dash's Experience Te Dash's experience is one that the company is deeply committed to, and much of it comes from the stores' smaller size and tailored product assortment. Te stores are designed to enable customers to complete their shop in 20 minutes and leave with a full basket, although many return three to four times a week to shop the fresh departments. Tis commitment to a quick shop was conveyed by one of the company's early taglines: Get in, get out and get on with life. Te company also prides itself on its staf-to-customer ratio. When Dash frst purchased the stores from his parents, the company had 70 employees in two locations; now, with four locations, the stores boast a total of 650 employees. "We can give DASH'S DELIVERS The company introduced an online shopping component one year ago, and sales have grown so much that management is consisdering expanding the delivery area to act as a "fifth store."

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