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Grana Bread gone from City Market

Tim Mutrie

Local Grana Bread fans can no longer find their favorite loaveson City Market shelves.Inquiries as to why that is the case got a rise out of officialsfor both the local bakery and the supermarket chain.”They kicked us out, that’s it,” said John Smollen, who owns theBasalt-based Grana Bread along with his wife. “They made a businessdecision to not have us there.””We didn’t make a decision to stop carrying Grana Bread,” counteredTom Bell, district manager of City Market. “John [Smollen] madethat decision by not being able to deliver the bread.”We have not discontinued Grana Bread,” Bell continued. “The problemis just getting it to the stores. They were having problems deliveringthe bread, we offered other alternatives to them to help deliverthe bread, but they weren’t very receptive to our suggestions.”Smollen said his company does not have a delivery problem. “Wedeliver seven days a week, 365 days a year, and we’ve never misseda delivery” in four-and-a-half years of business, he said.Apparently, Grana Bread’s delivery driver had a falling out withsome City Market staffers, and following that, he was instructednot to set foot on the company’s property.”They asked me to not have my delivery person on their property,”Smollen said. “He had asked to sit down and talk with [City Marketofficials] in a nice manner about delivery issues, but it wasn’teffective. It achieved the opposite result of what he expected.”The way they want to state it is, that our delivery problem isour delivery driver,” Smollen continued. “But we only have onetruck and one driver. He’s an employee of ours for four years,and he’s not perfect and neither am I.”According to Bell, local City Market stores want to carry thebread. “To be honest with you, we’d love to have Grana Bread backin the store. John just needs to find a way to get it to us,”he said. “I still believe it’s one of the better breads that we’veever carried.”Besides,” said Bell, “we really like to support the local businesses.If John [Smollen] were able to bake some bread and deliver itto the store, I’d have Grana Bread in the store in the morning.”Smollen said the fallout with City Market has been a setback forhis business.”We’re a small business and we’re staffed to a certain productionsize, so we have extra people right now,” he said. ” But I’m notwilling to terminate people because of City Market. We’ll haveto work harder – find a way to succeed. All we’ve ever tried todo is make the best bread we can, that’s our job.”Grana Bread disappeared from the shelves of City Markets in Aspen,El Jebel and Carbondale about two weeks ago. Grana Bread is still available at the Village Market in SnowmassVillage, at Grana Bread’s headquarters in the Mid-valley Designand Business Center on Willits Lane in Basalt, and at Clark’sMarket locations.In fact, a clerk at Clark’s Market reported, “they bring it infresh every morning at 7 a.m.”


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