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Award-winning chef will open grocery store in downtown Raleigh

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Standard Foods is scheduled to open in late fall 2014. Standard Foods is scheduled to open in late fall 2014.

Cary's five-star Umstead Hotel is losing its award-winning executive chef as he prepares to get into the grocery store business.

Chef Scott Crawford plans to open Standard Foods at the corner of Person and Franklin Streets, making it downtown Raleigh's only grocery store when it opens this fall. It will accompany a full service restaurant called Nash Tavern in 2015.

The 5500-square-foot space is much smaller than a typical full-size supermarket, but will offer high quality essentials, Crawford said.

"Fresh seafood, short ribs, fresh rabbit, quail, local eggs, local milk and the list goes on and on," Crawford said.

Crawford will partner with local fishermen and farms, including the Raleigh City Farm, which is located right next door.

"I'm excited to be able to cook the food that I like to eat every day," Crawford said.

City officials are also excited to see new services in an area that's long gone without.

"It's a little bit of the chicken and the egg. If you don't have the place people want to walk to, they don't move down here," said Grant Meacci with the Raleigh Urban Design Center.

But with cranes in the sky, Meacci said there's now a population boom downtown. Thousands of new residents are expected to move downtown within a couple of years and those people need a place to shop.

But so do existing neighbors, he said, especially in less affluent areas south of downtown.

"Having the ability to have farmer's markets, city farms, grocery stores, all within a walkable distance really makes it easy for them to make good choices about their health," Meacci said.

That takes business people willing to take a risk. Crawford, and investor John Holmes, hope to stand out with their mix of specialty foods and unique southern cuisine.

City planners hope the small grocery store is a sign of more to come.

Copyright 2014 WNCN. All rights reserved.

Derick Waller

Derick is a reporter for WNCN covering crime, education, politics and just about everything in between. He has a knack for adapting to any story and consistently delivers information quickly across multiple platforms. More>>

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