WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Last month, KSN told you there was a grocery store coming to downtown Wichita. On Monday, KSN visited the proposed site. The owners say they had to push back the opening date by a month.
“We have everything in order. We’ve even started looking into food for our shelves,” explained Phil Hermanson, opening downtown grocery store. “We just decided that we wanted to do all the manual labor as a family so, our new projected open date is July 15.”
Getting dirty and getting it done is how Phil and his wife Michele explain the process of turning the abandoned space, in downtown’s Century Plaza, into a grocery store. The project also includes a coffee bar, convenience store, and a wedding venue.
“Downtown just doesn’t have enough options,” said Steve Anthimides, the building owner. “I could not think of a better location, then Main and Douglas for this project.”
Over the last few weeks they have made quite the turn around.
“Everything in this facility had 25 years of dust, dirt and grime,” explained Michele. “What you see right now is a completely clear space. We’re ready for the next phase.”
Right now, the entire space is not only cleared out but cleaned up as well. The Hermanson’s tell KSN they have purchased the necessary hardware, with the exception of a few things, to get the coffee shop and the grocery store off the ground by this summer.
“Now comes the fun part,” said Phil Hermanson. “We had financing secured through Kansas City and then I caught a little flack for using Kansas City investors for a downtown Wichita project. So, we made the switch to Wichita investors, and so far, it’s been great for us.”
The site currently has five investors.
“We live on site to make sure our investors know how serious we are about getting this up and running by summer 2017,” said Phil. “Honestly, we are lucky to have such great support like, James Hoffman over at Heartland.”
The owner of the building tells us the grocery store will have regular everyday groceries to fit the needs of families all over Wichita but they will also be ordering specialty foods.
“We will have the best feta cheeses and even olive oil from Crete,” said Steve, who is from Greece. “When I first came here, I only have $150 so, it’s important to me that Mediterranean culture be included in this process.
The Hermanson’s are interested in hearing from people about what they would like to see in the store.
“This is a store for the people that will be shopping here so, we of course want to know what people like,” said Phil.
If you are interested in giving suggestions about the store you can reach Phil Hermanson at 316-516-2324