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TOUR: Dave's Fresh Marketplace - Smithfield, RI

Dave's Fresh Marketplace
Owner: Dave Cesario
Opened: 2009
Previous Tenants: none
Cooperative: IGA
Location: 371 Putnam Pk, Smithfield, RI
Photographed: November 19, 2023
We've seen so many independents across Connecticut and Rhode Island so far, and while this definitely isn't our last independent in this area, it's certainly a great culmination to our travels. Dave's is a 10-store independent chain with all of its locations in Rhode Island, and two are here in Smithfield. The other Smithfield location, about 2/3 of a mile west, is only 9900 square feet, while this one is closer to 40,000 square feet.
And Dave's, which opened here in 2009, makes the best of every single inch of the space they have. The store angles high-end, but is definitely a full supermarket with a little of everything. It's IGA-affiliated, and supplied by Bozzuto's.
We enter to a spectacularly beautiful grand aisle, on the right side of the store. Produce is in the front-right corner, with prepared foods in a huge island opposite it in the middle of the grand aisle. Deli and cheese are in the back right corner, with meat and seafood on the back wall. Dairy, frozen, and bread are on the far left side of the store, with bakery in the front left corner. A cafe is beyond the registers on the front-end.
This decor is designed by CIP Retail, and is similar to what we saw at the Tops in Carmel.
This store's largest prepared foods service counter is a massive pizzeria facing the entrance. The pizza looked amazing, too, and this store has normal pizza seen here alongside the, uh, Rhode Island Pizza Atrocity.
Packaged and similar prepared foods line the next part of the grand aisle, which gets narrower before we move on to deli.
Don't let the refrigerator cases fool you -- a huge part of the prepared foods here are fresh made in-store, even if they're sold grab-and-go. As we can tell, the store is very deluxe and from all indications, very high-volume.
In Smithfield, this store competes with a Stop & Shop just south of the other Dave's location, as well as an independent called Shore's Fresh Food Market about three and a half miles east in North Providence.
The service deli is behind the prepared foods departments. As we can see, there's no shortage of fresh foods here.
And behind the deli is The Cheese Lodge!
Cheeses line all sides of this alcove, with an incredibly large selection.
It's hard to believe this store is only 38,000 square feet. It feels so much larger, though that's largely a result of the massive selections and huge perimeter departments.
Up next on the back wall is the seafood department.
...and the butcher and meat department on the back wall.
The grocery aisles are fairly standard, with a combination of Bozzuto's brands throughout (IGA, Hy-Top, Seven Farms, Life Goods, and Life Every Day).
But there are higher-end touches throughout, such as the bulk coffee section on the right here.
But if you're looking for mainstream groceries, there's plenty of that too.
As we move back to the rear wall, we can see the meat department and the dairy department in the back left corner.
Here's a look back towards the grand aisle...
But even the most beautiful and well-run stores aren't immune from a reset rendering department signage outdated. Here we see yogurt under a deli meats sign, although to their credit a smaller yogurt sign has been added...
Frozen foods are in the second-to-last aisle...
...and on one side of the last aisle, with the dairy department facing.
Breads are in the front of the first aisle, which then runs into the bakery department. I love the setup and design of this area (I mean, the whole store too).
The bakery, of course, is enormous, with all kinds of breads and desserts and everything else...
...even an entire endcap of fresh baked cookies:
The bountiful floral department is between the bakery and the front-end...
And I really like the ways the design and decor package even extend onto the front-end, an area that's frequently ignored in store design...
And beyond that, the front-end separates the store from a large cafe on the front wall, with large windows looking out to the parking lot.
I've never been to any of the other Dave's stores, but I know where I'll be headed the next time I'm in Rhode Island! Tomorrow we're off to a smaller town just about four miles to the southwest for an independent for tomorrow's store tour!