NORMAN — Crest Foods is coming to Norman, but shoppers will have to wait at least another year to visit the store slated to open in the University North Park in June 2013.
Crest Foods President Bruce Harroz said the Oklahoma food chain is excited about opening in the upscale TIF district on 24th Avenue Northwest.
“We’ve always wanted to go to Norman,” Harroz said.
Harroz expects to close on the property by the end of June so construction will start this year. The plat has been approved by the Norman Planning Commission but has not yet appeared on the Norman City Council agenda for final approval.
“We’re kind of simple,” Harroz said. “We have everyday low prices.”
The Norman store will be open seven days a week, 52 weeks a year, like other Crest Foods stores.
Crest was founded by Bruce Harroz’s father, Nick Harroz. His motto was “stack it high and sell it cheap.”
However, the new generation of Harroz leadership has added another dimension with the fresh-market approach.
In 2002, Crest opened store No. 4 in Moore. The local chain continued to expand through Oklahoma City, with the newest location, store No. 7, opening in south Oklahoma City in 2010. That Oklahoma City store features upscale decor and a fresh-market approach that will be followed in the Norman location.
“We’re going to have a sushi department where they make sushi daily,” Harroz said. “We’ll have a specialty meat and seafood area. We cut and butcher our beef daily.”
Harroz said he believes the upscale style of the store will be a good fit for the University North Park retail area. The Norman store also will feature customer comforts to prevent people having to carry their groceries to the car.
“We will have a pickup area where you can drive up and we can load your groceries,” Harroz said. “It will be a covered area that they will drive through in the front.”
The covering will protect customers from bad weather.
“That’s a nice feature that we haven’t had in our other stores,” Harroz said.
The 105,000-square-foot store will be constructed on a large lot just northeast of the Valliance Bank site and will help anchor the proposed Village Center. With the coming of Crest to that spot, the city will move forward soon to complete Legacy Park Drive.
“We’ll have great variety and great prices,” Harroz said. “We still sack groceries and have well-lit stores with wide aisles. We’re open 24 hours a day — we never close.
“It’s going to be great. We’ve never been right next to a main highway like Interstate 35. We draw from 100 miles away, so it’s going to be really nice for our out-of-town trade.”
The Norman Crest store also will carry more health-oriented products.
“Because of the area and the college, we’re going to expand on our organics and natural products,” Harroz said.
Joy Hampton 366-3539 jhampton@ normantranscript.com