Fast-growing retailers take up 48 hours of space at a Forest Hill food store

The 48 Hours Food Store is about to be renovated and renamed the National Gourmet Market. (Photos of Mike Platania)

Ezaddin “Dean” Alshami and Faizal Surti add to their growing local empire of neighborhood markets.

The duo are preparing to open a location for their National Gourmet Market chain in the old 48-hour grocery store at 5091 Forest Hill Ave. The 2,800 square foot store is adjacent to the soon to be redeveloped Westover Place Mall.

The store is the fifth that they open or have under construction. Their first store opened about a year ago in Northside, and soon after they acquired the old Fine Foods Market in Oregon Hill and renamed it Mocha Gourmet Market.

In 2021, Alshami and Surti also signed to open markets in two new mixed-use developments: The Summit at Scott’s Addition and Jackson Place at 701 N. First St. in Jackson Ward.

Now they’ve turned their attention to the Southside with the deal for 48 hours. Alshami said he recently bought the store’s lease for an undisclosed amount.

“The previous owner wanted to abandon the business and we bought them out,” Alshami said. “It was open, but we closed the store so we could do some major renovations. We will be doing $ 300,000 in renovations to give the store a modern look, inside and out.

He said the Forest Hill market will be similar in concept to its other stores, offering fresh produce, packaged food, beer and wine.

“The overwhelming support we already have from the neighborhood and the way they want to see a replica of what we have for the Northside – it encourages us to do the same,” Alshami said.

Ezaddin “Dean” Alshami and his brother Mohammed recently opened the Star Burger USA restaurant.

Rapid store expansion is part of the business plan, Alshami said.

“When we launched the first location, we saw the need for it in other locations. This is why we implemented the plan of 10 stores in three years, ”he said. “This is the fifth in two years. Hopefully we will hit the number in the fourth year.

Manchester and Rocketts Landing are still on Alshami’s radar in the city, and he has said he would like to enter Henrico County as well. He said he was working with Robert Jones of Icon Realty and Amy Broderick of Thalhimer to help find new locations.

A group of family investors are helping fund the growth of the National Gourmet Market, Alshami said, noting that some of the investors help with store operations, while others keep a low profile.

Alshami’s also recently distributed seed capital to family members. He is an investor in Star Burger USA, a burger restaurant his brother Mohammed opened at 5001 Government Road in the Fulton area earlier this year.

“The store has been closed. I think it was a place for fried chicken. I thought it was a great opportunity. The area doesn’t really have a great place for burgers, and now we have a lot of customers coming from Rocketts Landing, ”Alshami said. “When my brother came up with the idea, it was obvious.”

There may also be a cross between the businesses of the Alshami brothers.

“We’re thinking, maybe a year from now, in some of the bigger markets that we have, to brew Star Burger in those places,” Alshami said.