NILES, IL (April 15, 2011)—Early this week, officials from Niles and Gordon Food Service grabbed hard hats and shovels to pose for groundbreaking photos at the new GFS marketplace location in Niles, IL.
"We're extremely excited about being here. We're predicting Niles is going to be one of our best stores," said George Dempsey, area manager for GFS, which sells both wholesale and retail.
The store, which is expected to open in October, will have a 13,000-square-foot sales floor within an 18,000-square-foot freestanding building at the southern end of Golf Mill, between JCPenney and X-Sport Fitness. GFS officials said it would create both construction and retail jobs.
GFS has been eyeing a Niles location for some time because its trucks already make food deliveries to restaurants in the area, Dempsey said. GFS also likes Niles' proximity to Chicago restaurants.
The company has 12 stores in Illinois, with the closest in Palatine and Schaumburg. The others are in the southern or western suburbs or far outside the Chicago area.
The Niles store will become the 13th in the state. It will also be GFS' 143rd store nationally. Headquartered in Grand Rapids, MI, the company operates in nine states: Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Tennessee and Florida.
Dempsey emphasized the store would be hiring people from the community. The positions will include 25-30 part-time staff members, a store manager, two assistant store managers and shift leaders.
GFS officials presented a check for $200 to the Niles Teen Center, which is located inside Golf Mill. Mark Williams, the center's director, said the teens enjoyed spray painting a welcome sign for the groundbreaking ceremony.