Ever dreamed about a downtown grocery?
Wake up and come on over.
Rochester’s East End. We’ve all strolled its streets. Stopped in at a gallery. Seen a film. Heard a concert. Passed artists and students and entrepreneurs on its sidewalks. And noticed—especially if we live or work in the neighborhood—something was missing. Something big. Something vital.
A grocery store.
We’ve been daydreaming, too. About a store that’s big enough to carry everyday basics. Brands you know and love, sure. Ah, but small enough to navigate. Where bins brim with bright, juicy, hand-selected produce, fresh from our own region. Where a kitchen serves up scrumptious comfort foods worthy of a chef’s table.
We dreamed of a staff who share the public’s passion for good food and uniquely local fare. Friendly-faced clerks who know customers by name. Who tip them off to the latest delivery of local peaches. Or chocolates! No wait—cheese!
We even dreamed of a comfy corner for a workday lunch. A place to linger over deep, dark coffee. Ahhh, that rich aroma of a Rochester hometown roast.
So. You’ve been dreaming too?
Good morning, Sunshine. Welcome to Hart’s.
A little history.
So, how’d we get here? The vision for Hart’s Local Grocers began in the mind of Glenn Kellogg, a Washington, D.C., urban economic planner who landed in Rochester in 2011 with his wife, who actually grew up in the Browncroft neighborhood. Glenn studied cities across the U.S., looking for one that offered the right mix of livability and opportunity. Rochester had all the ingredients—and a cultural spark that drew them in.
After the couple settled here, Glenn drafted a business plan in 2012 and gathered a team of industry and startup veterans from around the region and the country. Their first meeting aptly came to order around a dining room table.
The task they faced was to launch a new city market that would offer a perfect combination of local food, regional cuisine, and daily grocery needs. Study the demographics. Look at city neighborhoods. Identify the best opportunities and locations. Find out what residents were hungry for.
And, in their market research, the team discovered a once-loved Rochester neighborhood market called Hart’s—a name not seen here since the 1940s. A name that offered a fitting tribute to local history. A way to connect bygone charm with forward-looking optimism.
A new business was born.