To say there was much anticipation for the grand opening of Heinen’s Fine Foods on Aug. 22 would be an understatement. Crowds packed the parking lot of The Shops at Flint Creek to see what all the excitement was about, and most of them did not walk away disappointed.
Village President Karen Darch said a few words about how glad the village is to have this new store in town before Tom and Jeff Heinen took over. They cut the ribbon in typical Heinen’s fashion: using a butcher block and a knife; a tradition started by their grandfather who was a butcher.
After the ribbon cutting, dozens of people made their way through the store’s front doors to see what the brand new Barrington grocer had to offer. Most shoppers were delighted to have new options in town.
“It’s a really nice, clean presentation. There is a lot of variety and an expanded selection of food,” said Jacqueline Dalgleish of Cary. Dalgleish works in Barrington and is happy to have another option for lunch with Heinen’s now open. “A lot of people have been waiting to come here,” she said. “After working here, you run out of options for lunch. It’s nice to have an alternative.”
A unique aspect of Heinen’s is the addition of Massachusetts-based fair trade coffee shop Equal Exchange. Heinen’s has a partnership with the company, much like .
Equal Exchange prides itself on “partnering with small farmer co-ops to change power structures in the food system and bring you delicious fairly traded coffee, tea and chocolate.”
At Equal Exchange, customers can select from 14 bulk coffees daily. Seven are roasted in-house.
“You can get fresh brewed coffee at the coffee bar,” Coffee Roaster and Brand Builder Sally Dexter said. “Each cup is custom made so you can have a unique coffee experience.”
Beer and Wine
Heinen’s focuses on bringing quality products and goods to the store, and they don’t stop at the liquor department. Some very interesting features can be found in this department, including the ability to buy a glass of locally brewed draft beer to enjoy while browsing the store.
“You can purchase a beer and enjoy it to enhance the customer experience,” said Carlo Riggio, Wine Steward at Heinen’s.
Riggio explained that Heinen’s is working hard to make its beer, wine and spirits section as good as any liquor or wine store around. In the wine department, they offer every price range from a Sutter Home variety that costs $5.99 all the way up to Penfolds Grange with a price tag of $529.
An interesting feature in the wine department is Bin 55, which is advertised as Heinen’s favorite 55 wines for under $10. Each wine is categorized based on taste and variety to help the customer choose which one they’d like to purchase.
“Not every customer may have the time to talk to us…Sometimes they’re in a hurry,” Riggio said. For that reason, information is prominently displayed to help the customers decide without speaking with one of two customer service representatives on hand.
“Customer service is so extremely important to us. We will bend over backwards to make sure the customer is happy,” Riggio said.
There is also a wine tasting section of the store for customers to sample certain wines before buying.
More Interesting Heinen’s Facts
- Heinen’s is equipped with Express Deli Kiosk. Place your deli order at the kiosk near the store’s entrance and avoid waiting in a potentially long line at the deli. While you shop, your order will be made and you can pick it up at a later time.
- Seafood is delivered fresh six days a week to Heinen’s in Barrington. They also partner with fisheries that maintain sustainable practices.
- 400 varieties of cheese are offered at Heinen’s. They also have expert cheese mongers that are on hand to help with food and drink pairings.
- Heinen’s offers more than 350 products under its own private label. The majority of these items are either all-natural or organic.
A Word From the Owner
Both Tom and Jeff Heinen seemed to be blown away by the turnout at their grand opening event, saying this was definitely their largest one yet.
Tom Heinen said he’s pleased with how things are going in Barrington so far.
“Barrington has been great,” he said. “The last few days people thought we were open so it gave us an opportunity to talk to them and explain who we are,” he said. “How can you be anything but overjoyed?”
Heinen said he wants to hear from customers to see what they think about the store and is glad to hear what areas they can improve in.
“As a company we are good listeners. We want to listen to customers so they can help us get better. We want to try and meet their needs,” he said.
Heinen’s Fine Foods is located in The Shops at Flint Creek, 500 N. Hough Street, Barrington. Phone: 847-381-1332