Whole Grocer to move to Sunrise property

By Benjamin Graham, Jackson Hole Daily
August 13, 2012

The headline for this story was corrected.

If all goes according to plan, the Jackson Whole Grocer could be larger and in a more prominent location by the fall of 2013.

Owners of the grocery store announced Monday it will move the business to the old Sunrise True Value Home Center building on Broadway, leaving the Powderhorn Mall, where it, and its predecessor, Food Town, operated for more than 20 years. The move will give Whole Grocer more room for more services.

“We’re very limited in the space that we’re in,” said Jeff Rice, one of the owners of the grocery store. The Rice family has owned the store for the past two years.

The move will double the store’s square footage, including the sales floor, which now totals 11,000 square feet. With the increased space, owners of the grocery store plan to provide customers with more options.

“We want to be able to offer a more full-service shopping experience,” Rice said.

New services will include a full-service bakery, a floral shop, a larger coffee and juice bar, more cafe seating and fresh sushi, Rice said.

The owners decided on the old Sunrise True Value Home Center building, on Highway 89 near Stellaria Lane, as the store’s new space because of location and building style.

“We feel like the post and beam-type architecture is right,” Rice said. He added that he didn’t want a “big-box type feel.”

“We like the location on Broadway,” Rice said. “And we are excited about the idea that it’s a building we can reuse.”

The Sunrise True Value Home Center, which announced in July that it would close, totals 29,000 square feet. Owners of the Whole Grocer plan to enlarge the building to 32,000 square feet. To make the move and the expansion, the Rice family has formed a partnership with a small family-run grocery store chain in Oregon. While the partnership with Market of Choice is mostly strategic, it could help lower prices at the Whole Grocer.

“By partnering with them, we can potentially leverage our buying power,” Rice said.

He said Market of Choice would help with development and operations. The company was selected as a partner because it is family owned and it has a strong history in prepared foods, Rice said.

A third-party developer, also from Oregon, is in the process of purchasing the property and the building. The Whole Grocer would lease the building from the new owners, Dickerhoof Properties.



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