Clark’s Market to close for a ‘better-for-you’ remodel
Clark’s Market will close March 26 until early summer to undergo a multimillion-dollar remodel aimed at reviving the 38-year-old store with a fresh appearance and approach to its food.
“Our construction team is tearing out the walls, floors and ceiling,” director David Clark said of the 20,000-square-foot space. “We are literally taking this down to a shell and rebuilding it.”
Clark’s renovated deli will be roughly three times the size of its current deli, creating space for its new artisan bread and pizza ovens, an expanded salad and scratch-made soup bar, a homemade gelato station and a service counter for meat and seafood, which Clark said “adds a whole lot of visibility” to the store’s production.
Similar to Clark’s Market store in Snowmass, the renovated Aspen shop also will house a welcome center at the front of store with a juice and smoothie bar as well as a coffee station where shoppers may order lattes, espressos, and other specialty coffee drinks.
“The big emphasis is, this is going to be better for you foods,” Clark said. “We want things that are being made from scratch, fresh, here in the store every day.”
Another feature of the future market is its expanded selection of premade “grab-and-go” meals, which will add fresher and healthier options such as grilled salmon or steamed vegetables.
While the local market will continue to offer its current assortment of prepared meals, which include lasagna, mac and cheese, fried chicken and steak lunch and dinners, Clark’s is “really aiming for great, healthy meals” that people are able to take home and enjoy as an alternative to cooking, Clark said.
Clark’s Market also will expand its natural, organic, gluten-free, non-GMO product inventory.
For every standard item — from tomato sauce to syrup — the market hopes to offer at least one organic option, Clark said.
“I think that’s really the direction town is going,” natural foods manager Jim Wolf said of the market’s healthier approach to food.
“I’m extremely excited — it’s been a long time coming, in my opinion,” said Wolf, who’s worked at Clark’s for 18 years.
Clark said he has been planning the store’s renovation since 2007 but had to put plans on hold due to the economic recession in 2008.
The local grocery store will look similar to the brand’s Snowmass and Telluride markets, both of which were developed using the plans that Clark had initially come up with for the Aspen renovation.
Local resident Allison Pattillo said she is “very excited” for the remodel because she has seen the Clark’s Market store in Snowmass.
“If we could get that level of store here and expand some of the product line, that would be fantastic,” said Pattillo, who shops at Clark’s Market Aspen every other day.
“The store in Snowmass can definitely give people an idea of what to expect,” Wolf said. “But I think people are going to be very shocked and very happy and when they see this.”
Clark said he is happy to report that all of Clark’s Market Aspen employees have the opportunity to remain at work throughout the store’s closure.
“We’re making every effort to preserve our entire staff for the remodel,” Clark said. “Once the new store is complete, we want to bring everybody back.”
The majority of the market’s Aspen employees will transition to the store’s Snowmass location, while a few will relocate to Clark’s Market in Telluride for the time being, Clark said, noting that a few employees have chosen to take the time off.
“Our employees are phenomenal, and they understand the community.” “One of our cashiers has been with us since 1981” Clark said. “It’s people like that we don’t want to loose.”
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