New Market Look and Energy Efficiencies Wow Customers in Carrboro!
Emily Buehler, who chronicled the renovations on Facebook as they unfolded, takes you on a stroll through the new features of the renovated Carrboro store.
This summer the Carrboro store underwent renovation, with exciting results!
The process began with work behind the scenes and sales to reduce inventory. When the store closed on August 3, employees set up a “Mini Market” in the cafe and began to disassemble shelving and coolers. Within a day, the store was completely empty, and within two days, we’d removed the old floor tiling and were sanding and leveling the floor.
Workmen constructed new walls to delineate a vestibule, to expand and redesign the backrooms, and, most important, to enlarge the bathrooms. Some poked around in the ceiling, adjusting wiring, while others dug out the floor and installed piping.
For several days, the whole place looked like a big mess. Then they applied the new red epoxy floor, and the new store began to take shape.
New coolers and shelving arrived, and as soon as the floor dried, we set up the grocery department and stocked the shelves. We painted walls, hung signs, positioned checkout lanes, installed bulk bins, and built the big new cooler than extends through the middle of the store.
Getting the refrigeration running took longer than expected, but at last it was time to stock the coolers with dairy and produce. Once we’d swept the floor, we opened our doors, 19 days after we started.
One new thing you’ll notice is doors on most of the coolers. This is a more efficient refrigeration system that will save 75% energy. The dairy/beer cooler is "walk-in"; employees stock it from inside, without keeping a door open.
The enclosed refrigerator cases also allow us to keep fragile produce at the optimal temperature and humidity.
We’ve added a vestibule and eliminated doors to the outside to protect the store from outside temperatures. A new HVAC system (in progress) will focus on de-humidification, which allows a higher temperature to be comfortable. The system will also have multiple zones to save energy.
Hand dryers in the bathrooms replaced disposable paper towels. The bathroom also has water-saving fixtures. Other new features planned in the store include LED lighting, new energy-efficient kitchen equipment, and more organized recycling stations.
The produce and bulk sections expanded using the additional floor space gained in the remodeling. By highlighting seasonal and local produce offerings, we hope to encourage the purchasing of local products, which supports our economy and reduces the environmental impact of shipping.
By moving the bulk section outside of the traffic flow, we’ve created a more pleasant shopping area to encourage customers to buy bulk! Buying in bulk saves money and enables customers to try new products without making a big purchase. It also makes shipping more efficient and reduces packaging, even more so when customers bring reusable containers for their purchases.
If you haven’t been in our Carrboro store lately, stop by to see the renovations! Be sure to visit our deli area, which features local and international cheeses, deli meats, wine, and beer. The cafe and bakery area will be remodeled after Christmas.