GFS Marketplace will formally break ground Monday for its new store at 2424 Oakton St. in Evanston.

Alderman Ann Rainey, 8th Ward, and other members of Evanston’s City Council, senior staff and city management will join representatives from the Evanston Chamber of Commerce and GFS Marketplace executives to officially break ground and begin construction on the project in a 10:30 a.m. ceremony.

The new store is the first project to be built in Evanston under new environmental guidelines passed by the city council in 2009.

To mark the occasion and in the “Spirit of Thanksgiving” GFS Marketplace will donate a $500 gift card to the Community Animal Rescue Effort. C.A.R.E. is an all volunteer organization that works in conjunction with Evanston’s municipal Animal Shelter to find homes for the unwanted and abandoned animals.

GFS Marketplace is a foodservice store where restaurant owners and consumers can shop for items in bulk without having to pay a membership fee. The Evanston store, expected to open next summer, will be the 14th GFS Marketplace in the Chicago area.

G.A. Johnson & Son of Evanston has been hired as the construction company for the project

“We are excited about becoming an important part of the Evanston community and we look forward to our continued growth and commitment to the region,” said Jay Zylstra, president of GFS Marketplace, said in a statement.

“We are pleased that we can create new jobs and bring a store to this community that offers exceptional customer service and unique solutions for businesses, organizations or simply satisfying a family’s shopping needs.”

Headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Gordon Food Service is the largest family owned distributor of foodservice products to restaurants, schools and food service operators in the country.

The GFS Marketplace Stores, begun in 1979, service the emergency needs of GFS truck delivery customers and are also the primary supplier to many smaller operators who prefer to pick up their products.

There are 148 GFS Marketplace stores throughout Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Florida, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Tennessee and Wisconsin.

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Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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