Meet Your Merchant: GG’s Market officially opens for the long haul
Base Village ’one stop shop’ evolved over year-plus of fine tuning
The doors to GG’s Market are officially open for the season, with seven-days-a-week operations in full swing more than a year-and-a-half after the project was announced. It’s been a long time coming for optimistic shop owner Landon Goldstone, who co-owns GG’s Market and the Aspen and Snowmass Village locations of JUS with his sister Tamara Petit and her partner Mark d’Emden.
“I’m looking forward to a good summer,” Goldstone said.
There’s the usual snack market fare — sodas, candies, chips — with an abundance of gourmet iterations representing a number of local vendors. Folks who live in Base Village will find a few kitchen staples like pasta, condiments, milk and cheese as well as household essentials like cleaning supplies and toilet paper.
Picnic-friendly options will ramp up as operations get into full swing. Think sandwiches, picnic baskets and charcuterie boards (with options for humans and for their canine companions). Coffee and breakfast pastries will be available in the morning, and a cold brew coffee cart will be posted up right outside the market for quick access.
Think of it as “the convenience of the gourmet,” manager Emely Cuellar said.
Goldstone intends for it to be a “one-stop shop” in Base Village that adds variety and quick convenience to the existing merchants who offer more takeout and dine-in options.
He has more than a few more ideas for other offerings (and an aspiration to become “the cart man of Snowmass” with other offerings from the coffee cart) that could come to fruition over the summer.
Cuellar was quick to chime in and note first the focus on getting operations off the ground.
“I think we have a lot of ideas — it’s just mastering them and getting them prepared and started, but we are open,” he said. “It’s just, it’s all going to change and the maturity of it will come flowing through throughout the summer.”
It hasn’t been the easiest road to opening for GG’s.
The market was originally slated to debut along with JUS Snowmass during the 2019-20 winter season; the team took extra time to ensure that the shops matched their vision, Goldstone told the Snowmass Sun in December. (Then, of course, there was the COVID-19 pandemic that ground most business to a halt in March; East One Snowmass, which now houses JUS, was just nearing completion in early March last year.)
JUS opened in December, and GG’s was supposed to follow suit a few days later, but permitting challenges and an extensive search to source the quality ingredients (in the right quantities) held up opening day at GG’s until April, Goldstone said.
“My sister and I are perfectionists, and we do not like to give bad quality or … too much artificial stuff, so we went back and forth going over what products that would work in a gourmet market but would still be reasonable to the whole public,” Goldstone said.
The market finally opened for a couple of weeks in April before the ski season ended, but now it’s ready to roll for the long haul — staffing permitting.
That’s been the latest challenge, Goldstone said. But he’s optimistic about the market that he has been dialed in on for more than a year-and-a-half now. The vision for GG’s has evolved in that time, too, expanding the idea beyond a gourmet market to include “a little bit of everything,” Goldstone said.
“In the beginning, it was more — not a dream, but we didn’t think it was going to be as big as we’re going to make it,” Goldstone said.
There have been growing pains, Cuellar noted, but she thinks the process has brought them to a strong place within the Base Village community, she said.
“I think it was a little bit more overwhelming in the beginning because it took a big happiness toll around in this area. We had to figure out what people wanted,” Cuellar said. “But also, I think all the residences are so excited. Their showing support has been a little overwhelming because I think they’re so excited about it.”
That excitement — and what Goldstone sees as a vibrant future for GG’s Market — gives credit to the project named for longtime valley local Georgia Grace Gibsone, who died in 2019.
“It is definitely, I would say, a surreal feeling,” Goldstone said. “An idea that popped into my sister’s head to honor Georgia Grace kind of turned into this new … endeavor (and) venture.”
Finding a restaurant operator to go into the former Taster’s Pizza space across from Rio Grande Park wasn’t a priority for Aspen’s elected officials earlier this year but now it is.
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