Food fight at City Market
A Basalt business owner has taken issue with City Market’s claimthat it likes to support local products.Dean Logan, co-owner of the smoked meats producer Loganstocks,read a March 11 article in The Aspen Times concerning conflictingversions of the falling out between Basalt-based Grana Bread andthe supermarket chain. The dispute resulted in the pulling ofthe bread from valley City Market shelves.City Market district manager Tom Bell told the Times: “We reallylike to support local businesses.”Logan is not convinced.”We have done five or six formal presentations with City Market’shead purchasing agent in Grand Junction,” Logan said.”I’ve gone in, a marketing company has gone in representing it,and we’ve never heard a word from people in Grand Junction,” hesaid. “We made this last proposal so simple, with no risk forthem, but we still haven’t heard a word.”City Market’s continued brush-offs would make sense if Loganstocksoffered an inferior product – but it doesn’t, Logan said. Clark’sMarket carries Loganstocks’ line of all-natural, nitrate-free,cherry-wood smoked duck breast, trout, turkey breast and chickenbreast. And Logan said City Market’s local managers like the productand endorse it.”I have written statements of support from every manager, everyassistant manager and every meat manager at all five [City Market]stores in the valley,” Logan said.”We’ve tried persistently – we’re right down the street from the[El Jebel] City Market on Willits Lane – and it’s a shame to nothave it there,” Logan said. “We’re just at a loss to figure itout. It’s just big business, I guess.”Logan said Bell, the former manager of the El Jebel City Market,signed a written statement in support of Loganstocks. Bell ison vacation and could not be reached for comment.Phyllis Norris, City Market’s vice president of retail operations,reiterated Bell’s statement that the chain does support localbusinesses.”We do try to support as many local businesses as we can,” shesaid, “but I don’t know all the specifics surrounding the Loganstocks.”Norris said City Markets in the valley carry numerous locallyproduced products, including Tish’s Cookies, Dominick’s mushroomsand herbs, and Louis’ Swiss Pastry.”I can tell you that every vendor that comes down here to ouroffices does not get in, but we do have a real focus on localpeople,” she said. “We do our very best to address that.””When we say yes, we do try to support local businesses, we do,”she continued. “But they also have to meet certain standards.””[Dean Logan] needs to talk to those store managers,” Norris said.”[Logan] should probably talk to [Aspen City Market manager] JohnHaley, because wherever our stores are, we try to focus in onwhat the local people want.”
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It’s that time of year — hikers and mountain bikers must be aware that seasonal closures are taking effect on multiple trails in the area today for the winter for the benefit of wildlife.