Progressive Grocer Independent

JUN 2016

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Page 9 of 43

Dash's Market Cover Story however, the produce continues to be stacked every day the way the team frst envisioned. "It's kind of like a puzzle," Dash says of the store concept. "All the pieces, when you put them together, [form] a concept that I know will work in a lot of places, but not everywhere. Tese stores don't work everywhere." Te stores are located in healthy neighborhoods with a lot of rooftops and pull in a more sophisticated consumer with a higher-than-av- erage income. "We're a neighbor- hood market," Dash notes. "I don't consider ourselves a grocery store; we're defnitely not a supercenter or a convenience store. We're a neighborhood market that has a lot of unique things, that really thrives on taking care of the neighborhood." Focus on Protein In establishing Dash's Market, Dash frst focused on center plate — pro- teins — with the idea that if the team was success- ful with that, they could get customers to buy what they needed to fll up the rest of the plate. "When we started, it was, let's get them hooked on the meat department, and maybe we can sell them the potatoes. Ten, maybe we can sell them the dessert, the bread. And maybe then, we can sell them the spices. But let's work on center plate [frst]," Dash explains. Te frst step was build- ing a reputation for the meat depart- ment. Te stores feature butchers cutting meat to order every day until 6:00 in the evening, including unique cuts like the tomahawk. Te wide selection includes USDA Choice and Prime beef, veal, lamb, dry-aged prime beef, and house-made sau- sages. Meat accounts for 20 percent of store sales, and is the second-fastest growing department in the stores. For seafood, Dash's uses a Boston-to-Bufalo run in which the fsh is caught one day and in the stores' showcases the next, while other variet- ies, like ahi tuna, are fown in fresh from Hawaii. Te stores also have colossal crab legs on display and 16-ounce lobster tails — product that many supermar- kets are moving away from, Dash says. Te company additionally made the deci- sion to source only sustain- ably caught shrimp, which costs signifcantly more than traditional shrimp. "But that's the way I want to take the company," Dash asserts. "I want the best quality, so we went to this shrimp. We've had to educate our customers on the attributes and value of what we're doing. We've really been able to grow it faster than I thought we would." 10 | Progressive Grocer Independent | June 2016 "We're a lot of things to a lot of people, but we're not everything to everybody. Trying to do everything is too much. We do a great job with what we do." —Joe Dash, owner/CEO A SLICE ABOVE Dash's Market's unique slicer creates a distinctive deli meat display that causes customers to stop in their tracks. NO SHIRKING ON SHRIMP Dash's Market sources only sustainably caught shrimp, even though the cost is significantly higher.

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