A crowd turned out Dec. 12 as the Fresh Fare by King Soopers store at Kent Place opened for business.
This is the first Fresh Fare by King Soopers in Colorado, and the doors opened at 6 a.m. to a steady parade of potential customers apparently eager to check out the new design.
By about 3 p.m. opening day, the store was crowded. There was almost a need for a cop to direct traffic as customers pushed their baskets from section to section. One store employee said it appeared to be a very good opening-day crowd.
The 30,000-square-foot store has a 8,000-square-foot mezzanine where food is prepared.
Kelli McGannon, King Soopers marketing and public relations spokesperson, said the store will cater to shoppers seeking fresh fruits and vegetables from local growers, organic and gluten-free products and so-called grab-and-go meals made fresh daily in the store. There is a large meat and seafood department, and the deli includes a sandwich shop that also offers ready-to-eat salads. The store will also be offering a breakfast menu, including build-your-own breakfast burritos from 7 to 10 a.m. There is a Starbucks Coffee location near the deli, plus an adjacent seating area.
The store is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and employs an estimated 180 people.
The official opening was at 9 a.m. Dec. 12. There were some brief speeches and McGannon handed over a giant check for more than $161,000 to the American Red Cross. She explained it was the proceeds from a drive to raise money for the Red Cross during the summer's wildfires.
She made a number of introductions of store and company personnel. She then was joined by store manager Lee Lucero and the mayors of Englewood and Cherry Hills for the ribbon-cutting that was followed by offering cake to all comers.
Laura Phillips came to check out the store and said it will now be where she shops.
“This is such a nice store and it is only a few blocks from home,” the Denver resident said. “I love the wide selection of fresh produce and all the other amenities the store offers.”
She smiled and said she didn't plan it but she just picked up beef stroganoff pot pies for dinner and another prepared meal for the next night's dinner.
“The meals look very good,” she said. “I can't wait for our family to try them. If they are as good as they look, I'll probably be back for more.”