Dave’s Marketplace at 1000 Division Street is expanding, moving into the space formerly leased by West Marine, next to The Savory Grape. When renovations are complete, Dave’s EG will be just under 40,000 square feet, the largest Dave’s market.
“By supermarket standards, it’s still pretty small,” said Sue Budlong, Dave’s spokeswoman. The store plans to add more prepared and perishable sections as well as more space to sit and eat. Rumors of a smoothie bar cannot be confirmed ... yet.
Remodeling started earlier this month and there is some hope it could be completed by the holidays.
With the expansion, Dave’s continues to increase its presence in East Greenwich. The store began in Warwick as a fruit stand in 1969 and still has two stores there, but the corporate headquarters is across the plaza at 1000 Division in the same space that houses Dave’s commissary kitchen and its gift store offshoot, Le’s Isle Rose.
“We didn’t have room for expansion in Warwick,” said Budlong, “and East Greenwich is centrally located and easy on and off the highway.”
In addition, the management company at 1000 Division has been very easy to work with, she said.
Dave Cesario, who owns the chain, founded the company in 1969 with a fruit stand in Warwick. There are now nine Dave’s markets. In addition to the EG store, there are Dave’s in Cumberland, Smithfield, Warwick, North Kingstown, and Coventry. And, according to Budlong, there will be more stores.
“We’re always looking for new locations,” she said. “We love Rhode Island and we want to be in every part of it.”
In particular, people are asking when Dave’s will be opening up in Westerly, but also Aquidneck Island, she said.
“A lot of time, it’s about making sure it’s the right fit,” said Budlong, referring both to the community and to its real estate possibilities.
As to what makes Dave’s so special, Budlong said, “I think it’s a lot of years of honing a good craft…. We provide really good-quality products. We have very good customer service. People come into the stores and feel comfortable enough to ask questions. Dave has kept a lot of small-town, old-fashioned principals.”And, too, there’s always that free cup of coffee.
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