Boulder markets expanding their reach
Boulder-born Lucky’s and Boulder-reborn Alfalfa’s are spreading the gospel of fresh, organic, sustainable, natural and local beyond the borders of the People’s Republic. Alfalfa’s, whose slogan is “a Boulder original,” is poised to open a second location at the site of an abandoned Safeway store at the corner of South Boulder Road and Centennial Drive in Louisville, which was so eager for this to happen that will grant the grocer a full rebate of the sales tax revenues it generates in the first
three years of operation to a maximum of $800,000 and other incentives. What a deal!
Lucky’s Market, an upstart that developed rapidly in space that once housed the North Boulder market has established itself as such a key player as a natural foods grocery store and also added the Bakehouse & Creamery and Lucky’s Cafe to bring first-rate fare to a part of Boulder that is growint quickly but has has real gaps in prepared foods to eat in or take out. Lucky’s is also spreading its Boulder approach to food not to adjacent communities but beyond to the cornbelt.
Lucky’s is in the process of launching the Lucky’s Farmers Market brand in the meat-and-potatoes heartland states of Wyoming, Montana, Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio and Michigan that have by and large been ignored by the natural foods industry. The first ones will open in such university towns as Columbia, Ohio, and Bozeman, Montana — call them Boulder equivalents. According to the website, the stores that will offer natural, organic and locally grown foods and also mainstream products at good prices. The executive team is well credentialed: CEO Patrick Gilliland (Wild Outs Markets and Sunflower Farmers Markets), president Bo Sharon (Lucky’s Market), senior vice president of business development Jason Brown (Dr. Andrew Weil and The Natural Apothecary, and Organic to Go) and director ofoperations and purchasing Tim Ovelie (Wild Oat Markets). With an area code of 425, the new company appears to be coalescing in Washington State.
Through a partnershipwith Suburban Organics, Louisville’s, Door to Door Organics, one of the nation’s leading e-grocers operations in Colorado, Illinois, Missouri, and Michigan, is expanding into New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania.These two similarly minded companies have been working together since 2010, with Door to Door Organics helping Suburban Organics expand their product selection and improve their behind-the-scenes technology and operations.
Even the big kahuna of big-time mainstream markets is doing something signficiant. King Soopers, part of the huge Kroger grocery empire known for enormous supermarkets that squat like islands in seas of asphalt parking lots, is now planning a smaller, more targeted urban market in the heart of Denver’s emergent Central Platte Valley neighborhoods. I’ll bet the residents can’t wait — though they will have to until late 2014 or early in the 2015.