Could the ‘Grocery Store of the Future’ Land in Maywood? Thom Alcazar Hopes So… (thevillagefreepress.org)

Screenshot from an EATS informational video on its website. Below left, EATS Groceries founder Thom Alcazar. 

thom_alcazar.jpgThursday, February 9, 2017 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews

Thom Alcazar, the founder of Alcazar, Ltd., a consulting firm that provides expert knowledge in business automation, believes that he has a blockbuster idea on his hands and wants to deliver it to economically distressed communities like Chicago’s North Lawndale and Austin, and suburbs like Maywood.

It’s called EATS Groceries, and if Alcazar and his team have their way, the store could be housed in the old Maywood Market building at the corner of 5th Ave. and Washington Blvd. within roughly a year’s time after securing a deal.

On the surface, it’s an innovative concept that’s smoothly articulated in a neat, roughly 2-minute video on the EATS website.

“Shopping has become a chore,” the baritone-voiced narrator says. “Long aisles, long lines and screechy carts to push. Eats provides a safe and convenient concierge-type shopping experience, as well as transportation along major routes to our locations.”

Trained assistants, the voice-over notes, will guide shoppers to digital kiosks, where customers would place orders and receive assistance in other matters. Cooking demo kiosks will provide 30-minute tastings of “low-cost, healthy meal samples.”

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U. S. Representative Danny Davis & Thom Alcazar

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North Lawndale gets taste of super supermarket

 

A clean bus bearing the EATS logo roams the streets of North Lawndale, picking up shoppers and ferrying them to a kind of supermarket the neighborhood has never seen, that no Chicago neighborhood has ever seen.

The shoppers step off the bus and into a friendly, bright store. No bulletproof glass, no conspicuous surveillance cameras, no burglar bars, none of the familiar paraphernalia that in other stores makes shoppers feel like thieves.

Everything about this store is different. Instead of aisles of groceries, the shoppers are greeted by touch-screen kiosks and cheerful shopping assistants who show them how to order with their fingers.

You want bananas? Touch here. Green or ripe? Touch here.

Many of the shoppers — single mothers, grandmothers — come with kids, and while the adults work the kiosk, the kids are escorted to the kid zone to play and eat healthy treats.

Meanwhile, in the back, the cold, giant warehouse is bustling. Workers, many of them ex-felons who before this store arrived couldn’t find a job, line up along a conveyor belt, loading the orders into grocery totes. They’re all wearing gloves, ensuring that the fruits and vegetables, unlike most supermarket produce, haven’t been squeezed and poked countless times by whoknowswho with Godknowswhat on their hands.

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EATS: Bringing Healthy Food Choices to YOUR Neighborhood
Contact: 800 621 3050
Email: EATS@eatsgroceries.com

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