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Published 3 years ago
Last updated 3 years ago
A 60-year fixture of Homewood, Dunning's Gourmet Market is moving to downtown Flossmoor.
The deli and restaurant is relocating from Cherry Creek Plaza to the storefront recently vacated by Bakewell Bakery at 1048-1050 Sterling Ave.
According to owner Maureen Mader, Dunning's should be open in time for Flossmoor Fest on Sept. 8.
News of the move became public at the Aug. 6 Flossmoor Village Board meeting, where trustees approved the business’s request for a $15,000 economic incentive to assist in its relocation.
Dunning's will use the incentive to install a commercial hood and fire suppression system. This type of hood/suppression system is required by building code to accompany the commercial oven Dunning’s needs to cook up chicken for its signature chicken salad, which was featured on the WGN-TV show “Chicago’s Best”.
Technically, the fire suppression system becomes part of the structure, meaning Dunning’s couldn’t take it with them if it ever left the building.
Mader said she considered purchasing a smaller oven that wouldn’t require the sophisticated system, but it wouldn’t be able to keep up with demand.
“With the amount of chicken salad we sell, we just wouldn’t be able to do it,” Mader told the board.
Board members voiced strong support for Dunning’s, with Trustee James Wilder calling out the market’s fish sandwich and Trustee Brian Driscoll saying once Mader helped him out in a “food emergency.”
Trustees also mentioned the business’ charitable contributions to local school districts and nonprofit organizations.
“Homewood’s loss is our gain,” Trustee Phil Minga said.
With a total relocation cost estimate of $60,000 to $70,000, Dunning's will bring to downtown Flossmoor its selection of premium meats and specialty products, along with prepared sandwiches and salads.
The new space isn’t any larger than the existing one, but its configuration will provide more seating and a roomier kitchen, in which Mader said she hopes to host small cooking classes and educational programs about fine cheeses and wine.
In addition to expanded offerings, Mader said they are considering expanding the business’ hours to open earlier and close later, in large part to accommodate Metra commuters.
“We want to make sandwiches with arugula and provolone cheese for you to take on the train with you,” Mader said.
Dunning’s has been a Homewood business for its 60 years of existence, with Mader owning the market for the last 23 years. She thought for a long time about moving to Flossmoor, Mader said, but she wanted the timing to be right.
“I (previously) lived in Flossmoor for 35 years, so Flossmoor has always been my home in my mind. Dunning's started in Homewood, but I’ve been personally attached to Flossmoor,” she said. “Everyone loves the chicken salad, so they will find us.
“We’ll continue to support everyone we’ve supported throughout the years and support our communities because we are only as strong and successful as they are.”