After a year of planning and fine-tuning, the refurbishment of the Boise Co-Op is in its final stages and should be completed by the end of July. The shelves and the aisles are lower and farther apart. New restrooms are being installed in a corner of the store and the deli is undergoing a massive remodel.
“This is the fun part,” said Grocery and Wellness Manager Saul Seyler. “You get to reap the benefits of all the hard work."
In the last two months, Seyler and his team have spent late nights reorganizing everything that isn’t in a refrigerated case or perishable. That has meant moving the pet supply section to a new storefront, the Co-Op Pet Shop, and removing some items from the shelves.
Improvements have touched every corner of the store. In the deli, the trend has been toward growth. Late on July 8, the deli's specialty cheese island was removed to make way for a self-service salad bar and hot foods bar. According to Fresh Foods Manager Matt Fuxan, most of the specialty cheese will now be self-service, but there will still be a full-service option. The deli will also add a full-service smoothie bar in addition to increased sandwich and burrito options.
“We kicked around every way we could possibly expand,” said Fuxan.
To meet the demands of the new deli, Fuxan has grown his staff by 30 percent in the last month.
A 2011 Boise Co-op customer survey indicated a number of avenues for improvement, including widening the aisles, updating the deli and providing amenities like WiFi and a more accessible restroom area.
Many of the changes that have hit the Boise Co-Op have taken place at night so as not to affect customers.
Fuxan, whose department is experiencing significant modifications over the coming days, is bracing himself for the last phase of the remodel.
“In one day, literally, there’ll be a switch-around,” he said. “I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a little anxious.”
According to the Boise Co-op's Facebook page, the deli will be closing at 8 p.m. tonight for remodeling. The rest of the store will be open normal hours. Gelato will be half price all day while supplies last.
Stay tuned for a more in-depth look at the Boise Co-op remodel in the coming weeks.