Archive for Friday, April 17, 2015

Brotherly love in Tonganoxie

April 17, 2015

Of all the new amenities that have been added and renovations that have taken place at Brothers Market, there’s one item that’s been pretty popular.

“Families love the hot rod shopping cart,” said Matt Stockdale, director of operations for Brothers Market, with a laugh.

It’s hard for youths not to gravitate toward the souped-up shopping cart, but customers notice the many changes to the grocery store, which formerly was B&J Country Mart:

l A newly paved parking lot.

l The pharmacy area has been removed.

l The deli and bakery expanded.

l A new seating area for folks who want to grab breakfast, lunch or dinner.

l New shelving and wider aisles.

l Renovated customer service area.

l New refrigeration coolers with update LED lighting throughout the store.

“I would say every time I come and visit the store it is fun to hear people walk in to the store for the first time,” Stockdale said. “They don’t even have to say anything. The reaction tells us how we’re doing.”

Renovations started in the fall with updates to the parking lot and signage. An updated paint job also was on the list.

And then came renovations inside the store.

“The first phase started off demolition of existing fixtures and structures we knew we weren’t going to need anymore,” Stockdale said. “And then that brought us into second phase of building and creating the new areas.”

As for the new layout of the store, Stockdale said store officials saw a need to open up the building. He said taking out the pharmacy area “really opened up the front end of the building.”

Then came expanded seating and an expanded deli and bakery, along with the store now offering Chester’s Chicken, which the chain also sells in its Iowa stores.

The Tonganoxie store is the company’s only location outside of Iowa, but it’s also its largest.

There also are locations in Parkersburg, Cascade and Lisbon, all in the Hawkeye State.

Those stores generally cover 20,000 square feet for communities of about 2,000 people.

Tonganoxie’s entire store is 35,000 square feet, with the retail area covering 30,000 square feet for a community of nearly 5,200.

On Saturday, people will have the chance to get a closer look at all the renovations with the store’s grand opening.

There will be a ribbon cutting at 9 a.m. and an autograph signing with former Kansas City Chief Casey Wiegmann and former Detroit Lion Jared DeVries, both of whom played college ball at the University of Iowa. DeVries opened the grocery stores with his brothers, while Wiegmann and Tonganoxie chiropractor Rob Schuck also have ownership. Wiegmann’s wife and Tonganoxie native Danni Boatwright also will be on hand for the autograph session. Boatwright won “Survivor: Guatemala.”

Stockdale said the store also would be rolling out its new line of coffee: Cabin coffee, Saturday morning.

Complimentary goodies from It’s a Sweat Treat Day Bakery also will be available.

From 11 a.m.-1 p.m., there will be some grilling as the store utilizes its Corky’s Cookout seasoning.

KC Wolf and the Trix rabbit plan to make appearances and 105.9 KISS FM will be doing a live remote from the store. Balloon artists also will be on hand.

“The day is really going to be a family filled day to bring your kids up to Brothers Market, not only to check out the store, but to also have fun and be a part of this experience,” he said.

Stockdale noted that the store was starting a series of specials this week that will alternate in the coming weeks to celebrate the grand opening.

He said he hopes the community turns out for the big day.

“Overall people have been so encouraging to us, that they just appreciate Brothers Market investing back into the community,” Stockdale said.

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