Home Coffee shop Uptown’s Peter Rubi grocery store sold to vegan start-up to be rebranded XMarket Uptown

Uptown’s Peter Rubi grocery store sold to vegan start-up to be rebranded XMarket Uptown

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UPTOWN – Uptown’s new grocery store is rebranding to become a vegan-only food market after being acquired by a Canadian health food company.

Peter Rubi has been sold to vegan food startup PlantX and is being rebranded as XMarket Uptown, the company has confirmed. The grocery store at 804 W. Montrose Ave. and its sister location in Plainfield were sold to PlantX in December and rebranding at both locations is underway.

Peter Rubi stores are transitioning to offer 100% plant-based products, including wines and beers. In Uptown, the store will see new features including a cafe and space for programming and events, said Alex Hoffman, chief marketing officer of PlantX.

Both stores will remain open during the rebranding.

PlantX is a plant-based products and lifestyle company. Founded in 2019, it offers online ordering and delivery, and has opened two XMarket locations in California and one in New York, as well as outposts in Canada.

PlantX has purchased Peter Rubi for $1.2 million plus stock options, the company announced in a press release. With the expansion into Chicago, PlantX now has a presence in the nation’s three largest markets as it seeks to develop a vegan-only, high-tech food operation, founder Sean Dollinger said in a statement.

With the acquisition, a few changes are in store for the Peter Rubi Uptown location.

Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
A customer walks through the Peter Rubi Plant Based Market, 804 W. Montrose Ave., in Uptown on September 9, 2021.

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Peter Rubi is a health-conscious market that offers highly selected food products without preservatives. It did not store meat or dairy products.

Peter Rubi’s Uptown location opened in September, taking over a prime storefront in the Eight Eleven Uptown building that was once to house a Treasure Island grocery store. It was the second Peter Rubi store after the flagship Plainfield store opened in 2012.

The Uptown store opened despite owners John and Maria Graves putting their Plainfield store up for sale a few months earlier. After some concerns among customers about the store’s potential closure, the Graves said the store would stay.

John Graves did not return requests for comment this week. Graves will still be involved in operating Chicago’s XMarket sites, PlantX said in a statement.

Peter Rubi’s products are being revised to incorporate many of the 10,000 products sold by PlantX, Hoffman said.

XMarket Uptown will sell basic groceries as well as vegan sandwiches made by celebrity chef Matthew Kenney, who opened Althea restaurant in Gold Coast. A cafe will be added to the store, selling Portfolio cafe products.

New “XMarket” signs are expected at the Uptown site next week, Hoffman said. The beer and wine section will be added later this year.

The store will have space for demonstrations and events, with plans for food sampling, group workouts and seminars on plant-based living, Hoffman said.

The store will also function as storage and distribution centers to facilitate PlantX’s online shopping platform.

With the new stores, PlantX hopes its XMarket will be the city’s premier vegan shopping destination, its founder said in a statement. PlantX also announced a partnership with Bears quarterback Justin Fields, who is vegan.

Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
People walk near the Peter Rubi Factory-based Market, 804 W. Montrose Ave., in Uptown on September 9, 2021.

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