Market of Choice Readies for Opening

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(Photo by CBN)

New Bend Store Promises Wide Selection & Unique Shopping Experience

Oregon grocer Market of Choice is putting the finishing touches to its new 42,000 square foot store in Bend, which is expected to create around 130 jobs, in readiness for a much-anticipated opening slated for June 16.

The Eugene-based specialist supermarket chain, which carries conventional groceries as well as natural and organic products with an emphasis on local sourcing, has made a significant investment in its tenth location state-wide and promises to offer “an extensive selection of products at affordable prices.”

Similar to its flagship store in Eugene, the new Bend market – located north of the Old Mill District between NW Colorado and NW Arizona Avenue – will feature an expansive produce selection, scratch-made baked goods, specialty cheeses, a beer and wine shop, whole health and bulk items, a full-service meat and seafood department, and a gourmet deli and kitchen offering take-away meals created by in-house chefs. It will also have a growler station and wine bar, as well as a juice bar.

In keeping with the aim of promoting a “relaxing and enjoyable shopping experience”, the store, designed by Eugene-based TBG Architects and built out by R&H Construction, includes a two-tiered café with fireplace and customer gathering spots including an outdoor plaza.

Part of the business model includes stocking shelves with local products, from artisanal breads to craft beer, which opens up possibilities for local producers, said Market of Choice President Rick Wright.

He added: “We’re excited to be here and eager to join the Bend community. We’ve received numerous requests from Bend residents over the years asking us to open a store here, and we’re happy to say that the time has come.”

“There’s been a lot of positive remarks already,” said Store Manager Casey Capell, who has worked with Market of Choice for over 10 years and originally hails from Bend. “People are happy we’re here and we’re happy we’re here.

“What also makes us unique is in our name — it’s choice. We can give the customer any option they want. They can get natural, conventional, organic, specialty, as well as the everyday item. We have a lot of flexibility.”

Similar to other Market of Choice stores, the Bend market features many eco-friendly operating components, with elements such as LED lighting and solar tracking skylights, anticipated to reduce the store’s dependency on electricity for lighting by 75 percent.

It will also utilize a state-of-the-art glycol refrigerant, an organic compound that creates an efficient heat and hot water reclamation system, and in addition to recycling, the store will separate compostable food waste and landfill waste.

“It’s a great concept,” said R&H Project Manager Kyle Hartley. “Market of Choice sees this as an optimal central location easily accessible from all parts of town and I think there is a lot of excitement about the opening.

“The project employed a lot of sustainable elements and the upper story windows also allow abundant natural light which adds to the airy, spacious feel.

“We were involved with the owners through the whole design and planning process and worked with them on their last project which recently opened in Beaverton, as well as an upcoming additional store for the Portland area.

“The Bend store is also part of increasing activity in that part of town which is evolving better connections between the downtown and Old Mill districts.”

Owned and operated by the Wright family for over 35 years, the Market of Choice business has grown from a single store to ten markets from Portland to Ashland, operating with professional chefs, bakers, and stewards of wine, beer, cheese and coffee.

While growing their business, the Wrights have provided mostly full-time jobs for thousands of people who receive higher-than-average industry wages and benefits.

Today, they help support many local farmers and producers by purchasing items grown and made in Oregon. The opening of the Bend store will create more than 130 new jobs as well as transfer positions for existing employees.

The company also looks for earth-friendly packaging material for its goods, and in 2008 removed the use of plastic shopping bags from its stores.

It also distributes funds to local community arts organizations through proportional proceeds from the sale of reusable bags that feature the work of commissioned local artists, and supports nonprofits including local food banks through donations and scan programs.

Wright said the company prided itself on establishing local connections, adding: “We believe every decision we make has a ripple effect. That is why we support local farms and vendors whenever possible, so that our customers can too.

“We have built our business around listening to our customers. When they told us they wanted conventional and organic products all in one place, we made it happen. Today, our customers tell us that when offered a choice, they’d prefer to buy local.

“Buying local is not only good for the environment – it takes less energy to transport goods that are made nearby – it’s also an easy way to support the local economy. When customers make that same choice, they help sustain local farmers, vendors, their families and their employees. It’s a full-circle philosophy that translates into a healthier community.

“Our community commitment is also reflected in how we treat our employees, by providing competitive, family-wage jobs and benefits for now more than 1200 employees at our Market of Choice stores. That kind of commitment fosters deep loyalty – we’re pleased to say that some of our employees have been here since our inception.

“Because we believe in social responsibility, we place great importance on giving back to the community.”

Two single-story commercial buildings on an adjoining parcel to the east of the Bend store closer to the Parkway, developed by Corvallis-based developers Dickerhoof Properties and Eugene’s Willamette Valley Co., so far include Mud Bay, a retail pet supply store which sells naturally sourced pet food and other products, and Mod Pizza, a Seattle-based corporation with about 120 locations nationwide.

Market of Choice

115 NW Sisemore St. • Bend, OR 97701 • www.marketofchoice.com

Business Owner: Rick Wright

Contractor: R&H Construction Co.

Project Cost: $5 Million
Square Footage: 42,185
Foreman: Mark Paradis, R&H Construction Co.
Project Manager: Kyle Hartley, R&H Construction Co.
Superintendent: Billy Morrison, R&H Construction Co.
Engineer: Stability Engineering, Inc.
Architect: TBG Architects and Planners
Principal Architect: Jesse Grant, TBG Architects and Planners
Structural Engineer: Shawn Stoneberg, Stability Engineering, Inc.

Subcontractors and Suppliers
Bell Hardware of Bend, Bend Commercial Glass, Building Material Specialties Inc., Chase Industries Inc., CHE Group, LLC, Custom Metal Fab Inc., Eagle Roofing Co., Energy Conservation Insulation Co., Fabulous Floors Inc., Fergason Refrigeration, Fireside District of Oregon Inc. Innovative Air Inc., John Varner Construction, LaRusso Concrete Co. Inc., Latham Excavation, Moderncrete West Inc., North Country Building Specialties, Oregon Interiors Inc., Paragon Tile and Stone Inc., Revolution Electric, Sieckmann Metal Fab., Inc., StonHard Division of StonCor Group Inc., Sunburst Fabrication Inc., Tapani Plumbing Inc., The Dannick Corp., Uncommon Cabinetry Inc., Unique Metal Products, LLC, W.C. Finishes, We Cut Concrete Inc.

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Simon Mather CBN Feature Writer

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