By Philip Haldiman
Peoria Discount Grocery isn’t your normal, run-of-the-mill marketplace.
No doubt, the discounts are there to be had, but there’s more to it.
Spokeswoman Tiffany Panaccione said the store, located at Peoria Town Center Plaza in the former Albertsons near 83rd and Grand avenues, buys truck loads of brand name goods from all over the country and then puts them on the shelves at a reduced price.
The inventory varies wildly including canned/dry/non perishable foods, household items, cosmetics, cleaning products, paper products and various other items such as booster seats and kid potties.
She said the no-frills, family owned grocer does not have the same overhead as big box retailers because it keeps the store set-up simple.
She said the business also gets special offers because owner Rick Harris, Ms. Panaccione’s step father, who has more than 30 years experience in the wholesale/distribution business, is able to research the best deals.
Ms. Panaccione said the prices at Peoria Discount Grocery are the closest to wholesale a customer will find without paying a membership fee or having to buy in “crazy large quantities” — lower than Walmart, Winco, and other grocers.
But this also means you don’t necessarily know what you’ll get from visit to visit.
All in all, she said, the business model allows the company to pass great savings on to the customer.
“Unlike most grocers, our inventory is constantly changing. All our deals are the cheapest price you will find, guaranteed. We get goods by the truck/pallet and once those hot deals fly off the shelf, the next truck brings something different,” Ms. Panaccione said. “When big box stores or name brands are getting rid of an excesses of product, they call us. Sometimes a brand changes its branding or mislabeled something and can’t sell it. That comes to us. Even our shelving and equipment came from stores going out of business. So before we buy brand new, we use our expertise to shop around for the best deals we can find on quality goods.”
But the 60,000 square-foot store front is more than just a grocery store. More than half of that space is dedicated to an e-commerce business that sells a wide range of retail items via Amazon and eBay, ranging from shoes and electronics to toys and car parts.
Ms. Panaccione said the space near Old Town Peoria serves the two-pronged business well.
She wants the store front to have a lasting impact on the Peoria community and offer everyone a place to shop and save for years to come.
“To know and be a part of the families in our community is our ultimate goal so we can serve them well,” she said. “We always strive to keep our business simple so we can pass those savings on, and we strive for sustainability in all aspects of the word, through economics, community, and environment.”
If you go
What: Peoria Discount Grocery
Where: In the Peoria Town Center Plaza 8150 W. Peoria Ave.
When: 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Wednesday to Sunday, with expansion to a full week in the future.
Details: The grocer is in the process of becoming an approved SNAP/EBT vendor.