LAKEVIEW — East Lakeview: You're getting another grocery store. And this time, it's a local one.
Brother grocer team Gregory and Paul Stellatos are opening a third location of their gourmet store Go Grocer this week, this time at 2930 N. Sheridan Road, near Surf and just a couple blocks from that new, controversial Walmart.
Stellatos' mantra: Offer products from local vendors, like Terry's Toffee out of the Near West Side and Milk and Honey granola out of Wicker Park.
"My main focus is trying to support people around me," Gregory Stellatos said. "In the end, I want the people I support to support me — pay it forward.”
Gregory Stellatos is known for more than just running Go Grocer. The 30-year-old former pro soccer player-cum-model-cum-businessman was one of Chicago magazine's 2011 most eligible singles.
“Yeah yeah yeah yeah,” he said. “That’s me.”
Gregory is signed with Ford models and has shown up in everything from fashion editorials to a McDonald's billboard. (Paul, 31, is “good looking in his own way but doesn’t model," Gregory said.)
The Stellatos brothers grew up in northern suburbs, and Gregory left to play pro soccer in Greece for a year. But he tore his ACL and returned to the U.S. to model professionally, making stops in New York, Los Angeles and Miami.
When he came back to Chicago about five years ago, he and Paul started opened a grocery store in Bucktown as W Grocer, at 2060 W. North Ave. They opened one in the South Loop at 1255 S. Michigan Ave. afterward, calling it Sky Grocer.
Gregory Stellatos, a “health nut” and passionate foodie, took inspiration from high-end convenience stores in cities where he modeled and saw opening a grocery as a culmination of his interests.
Last month, the brothers decided to rebrand all the shops as Go Grocer so people would know they were behind all of them. Lakeview's 3,000-square-foot store at the bottom of a high-rise is hopefully third of eight to 10 future locations throughout the city, Gregory Stellatos said.
"People want to know that when they’re walking into a store, they know it’s mine," he said.
In addition to local vendors, each store offers all-natural, locally sourced meals prepared by chef Brandon Anderson, who works out of a kitchen in Logan Square, Stellatos said. Forty different entrees include spaghetti and meatballs, tofu pad thai and quinoa.
Stellatos isn’t worried about entering a market with a big box like Walmart. The people who would shop at his store are looking for more local products, he said.
“A couple of great opportunities lined up in a row,” he said of opening the stores. “Thankfully, five years later, it’s still going pretty well.”
Oh, and ladies: He is still single.