Sherwood Park residents looking for a taste of Italy will no longer need to head into Edmonton for specialty ingredients, as the Italian Centre Shop is expanding to the community.
The Edmonton-based grocer stocks local and imported produce, European specialty foods and products, and provides wholesale distribution to over 800 restaurants across Alberta.
Italian Centre Shop will open its fifth location at 8005 Emerald Dr. in the fall of 2021. As an anchor tenant in the Emerald Hills Urban Village shopping complex, the 22,500-square-foot space will have a licensed 50-seat cafe, 30-seat patio Spinelli Bar Italia, and all the deli, bakery and grocery options shoppers have come to love.
The Sherwood Park location will have what it claims will be Western Canada’s largest deli, featuring over 500 cured meats, cheeses, olives and antipasti. It will also feature an extensive bread and pastry program.
The new store will include a pizza oven and dining counter, cheese wall display and demonstration stations. There will also be 140 parking stalls — welcome news for shoppers who sometimes struggle to find a spot on busy days at other locations.
The company was founded in 1959 by Italian immigrant Frank Spinelli and is now led by his daughter Teresa Spinelli.
“My father Frank started importing newspapers and coffee beans in the heart of Edmonton’s Little Italy to Italians 60 years ago,” Spinelli said.
“We’re proud to keep his legacy alive and expand our footprint in central Alberta to such a culturally diverse, family-oriented and rapidly growing area.”
The company also has three locations in Edmonton — downtown in Little Italy, southside near 51 Avenue and 104a Street, and in the west end along 170 Street near West Edmonton Mall — and in 2015 also expanded to Calgary.
Spinelli hopes the new location will also attract customers from southeast Edmonton, Ardrossan, Fort Saskatchewan and South Cooking Lake. She said customers have been asking for a location on the east side of the Edmonton region.
“It’s humbling to know that after this long, Albertans keep supporting our family business and want to be part of our growth,” Spinelli said.
“We’ve finally found a space to accommodate our needs operationally, but it meant a lot to our organization to open in an area with food lovers of all ages, busy families and a community known for supporting local businesses. We are very blessed.”
Emerald Hills Urban Village, in the northeast corner of Sherwood Park, is adjacent to the Strathcona Community Hospital.
Neighbouring businesses to the Italian Centre Shop in the mixed-use commercial centre will include banks and financial services, fast food restaurants like Subway, Tim Hortons and Starbucks, a three-storey office/medical building and a 200-unit residential building.
The shopping complex is being built by Cameron Development Corporation, which also was behind several other large complexes, including South Edmonton Common and Windermere.
“From opening its first location in Edmonton’s Little Italy to the announcement of this new store, the Spinelli name has been synonymous with the tastes and traditions of Europe, all under one roof,” Cameron Corporation president Cameron Naqvi said.
“As a family business as well, we feel extremely fortunate to work with the Italian Centre Shop, and are pleased it has chosen Emerald Hills to further share its established brand with a new generation of shoppers.”
The Sherwood Park location is being designed by Edmonton-based OCI Architecture Inc., which was also involved in the shop’s southside location that opened in 2006, the west end location that opened in 2013 and the Calgary store.
“Expect the unexpected,” designer Sid Assaf said. “We value Teresa’s trust in our ability to develop meaningful design to reflect the heart and soul of what the Italian Centre Shops represent.”
The Italian Centre Shop says it is Alberta’s largest family-owned specialty food retailer and grocer.
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