Paul E. Anna: High Points
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado
For those of us who live west of the roundabout, or “downvalley” as it were, one of the biggest improvements for this summer has been the new Roxy’s Market.
For the uninitiated, or those who live “upvalley” as it were, Roxy’s is the small grocery store that opened last December in the ABC across from the airport. It is a venture of Roxanne (Roxy, of course) and Michael Lawler, who also own the Market at Mountain Village in Telluride and Moab’s Gonzo Inn. For a town that has labored under the sub-par monopoly of the two in-town grocery stores, Roxy’s is a veritable breath of fresh air.
From the moment you walk in the front door you know that shopping at Roxy’s will be a unique experience. Start by grabbing one of the “Wheelie” baskets, big enough to fill with just those items you need and easy enough to maneuver around the store. The shelves are all fully stocked with a great variety of foods and other goods. It is clean, colorful and everyone says “hello” as you walk through the market.
Perhaps the best section of the store is the meat counter in the back. Kind of a cross between a deli counter and butcher, there are great cuts of Boar’s Head brand cold cuts and steaks, ribs and organic chickens. And most of their products, whenever possible, come from local purveyors.
When the renovation was going on, some were concerned that the fried chicken and corn dogs that were the signature of the market that proceeded Roxy’s would be missed. But the selection of fresh lunch items, including salads, wraps and sandwiches, more than makes up for them, and they’re a lot healthier, too.
It took the Lawler’s about eight months to complete the renovations on the store, and when it was finished customers flocked. First were the residents from the North 40 who were jonesing for a place to shop. Next came folks from the airport who discovered they didn’t have to go to town to buy their groceries. Then it was the second homeowners from Snowmass who had a new alternative. Now it’s locals from Basalt and Old Snowmass who make the stop on their drive home from Aspen.
Roxy says that the goal of the store is to fill a void in the valley for a stress-free, friendly shopping environment. And for my money they have accomplished that goal in spades. On a recent afternoon I was able to take my list in, peruse the shelves and come up with everything I needed in about the time it would have taken to find a parking space at either of the in-town markets. And if there is anything missing simply ask at the check-out stand. Roxy says they will try and fulfill all wishes.
As far as prices go, there is a small premium that is paid on some of the standard items that the big stores discount heavily. But even in this tough economic environment the positive experience one gets shopping at Roxy’s is worth a few cents more.
There have been few additions to this valley, either up or down, in recent years that is a game changer like Roxy’s.
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For the past five-plus years I have sat in a big chair in a small office on Hyman Avenue watching life in Aspen and the Roaring Fork Valley play out in front of me.