The Checkout

Balducci's Goes International

Ylan Mui

The next chapter in the Balducci's saga takes place overseas.

The gourmet grocer that built a following for its 10 stores along the East Coast plans to open its first international location in Dubai at the end of next month. The store is being built in partnership with developer Nakheel Retail in the Mall of Dubai, and the company hopes it will be the first of several locations in the bustling, wealthy region.

Gee, Penn Quarter -- where Balducci's had an on-again/off-again relationship with a site -- just doesn't have the same ring to it. Looks like residents will need a passport to get their Bilinski all-natural chicken sausages.

Still, Balducci's name is woven into the fabric of Washington, not least because local businessman Mark Ordan, with financial backing from Bear Stearns Merchant Bank, took over Balducci's in 2003. (Yes, he's the same guy who founded Fresh Fields then sold it to Whole Foods.) Ordan left Balducci's in 2006 to become chief operating officer of The Mills Corp., a shopping mall developer in Chevy Chase. Last month, he was named CEO of McLean-based Sunrise Senior Living.

By Ylan Mui |  August 5, 2008; 7:03 AM ET Consumer News , Ylan Mui
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