What does it take to convert a giant empty building in Longmont into a bustling supermarket? "It takes a village," says Lucky's Market founder Bo Sharon, with an appreciative sigh. "It takes a lot of intelligent people working very, very hard -- 26,000 square feet is a big challenge."
The added real estate is one of the improvements that the brand-new Lucky's Market in Longmont has over the first
Lucky's Market in Boulder. The Longmont store, which will have its grand opening blowout today, also boasts a revamped deli and an attached liquor store. "We are larger in format, so we added a larger cheese department, a salad bar/hot bar, a sushi station and a pizza station," Sharon says.
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With two grocery stores and a liquor store, along with Lucky's Cafe and Lucky's Bakehouse and Creamery, Sharon now presides over something of a home-grown franchise. It's a far cry from a decade ago, when Sharon and wife Trish took over the North Boulder Market and turned it into Lucky's. "We were quite ignorant back then -- and could still be called so today," Sharon jokes. "But it was a belief and a passion and a vision to turn a grocery store into something we wanted."
Five years ago, Longmont was a desert for natural food, with a single Vitamin Cottage picking up the slack. "I think that the larger companies didn't have belief in Longmont, and/or didn't know the people well enough to understand that we eat natural foods," Sharon says. The new Lucky's will also compete with the recently opened Sprouts and a Whole Foods, just announced for theredeveloped Twin Peaks Mall -- all within a mile or two. "It's beneficial to the town," Sharon says, waving off the challenges.
To measure up, the Longmont location offers all the services that made the first Lucky's a neighborhood institution. "We make our own bacon, we cure our own hams, we make our own pastrami, we roast our own turkey. Everything we make from scratch here, as opposed to the other grocery stores," Sharon says. In addition to the fresh pizza and sushi selections, the deli crew can put together a smorgasbord of fancy sandwiches like the Korean Grilled Pork and the Smoked Salmon Po' boy, to be paired with selections from the antipasto and salad bars.
Sharon prides himself on carrying produce from eighteen different local farms, some of which, like Longmont's Ollin Farms, are practically down the road. But unlike at other natural food stores, a few conventional, brand-name items can be found on the shelves. Because as any natural food shopper can tell you, few natural cookies can compete with the iconic Oreo. "Instead of hiding our secrets, we put them on our shelves. This is a reflection of our pantry," Sharon says. (He estimates that 90 percent of his stock is natural or organic.)
And it will be reflected in the new store. "It took a while to find the right fit," Sharon says of the location at 700 Ken Pratt Boulevard in Longmont. "We were believing in this town quite some time ago. It took us a few years to figure it out, but when the space became available... we jumped on it." And now that Bo and Trish have ventured into baking and restaurants, what's next for the duo? Sharon is open to suggestions: "We're nothing if we're not good listeners."
In advance of today's opening (store hours are 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.), Bo Sharon gave us a tour of the new Lucky's Market; read on for more photos of the store.
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Find more information on either Lucky's Market location here.