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Surprises abound in new store

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By Arin McKenna

Smith’s Food & Drug President Jay Cummins summed up the general euphoria with the new Smith’s Marketplace on Tuesday.
“I can’t wait for our customers to walk in here tomorrow, because I don’t think they know − no pun intended − what’s in store,” Cummins said. “This is definitely one-of-a-kind in the Smith’s division, and I’d be willing to bet one-of-a-kind in the 2,600 Kroger stores that are across the country. It’s a spectacular store.”
Smith’s is a division of the Kroger Co.
Although Smith’s has six Marketplace stores in Utah, the Los Alamos store is a new prototype and one that promises to outstrip even those that follow in its wake.
The Los Alamos Marketplace has several unique features: a wine bar serving wine and beer by the glass, made-to-order sandwiches, pizza, salads and other prepared foods and a patio offering wine and beer service as well as canyon views.
The store is filled with little surprises.
The climate-controlled wine cellar offers a touch of elegance as well as a distinctive assortment of wines and a cigar humidor.
A demo grill in the fresh meat and seafood department allows associates to prepare samples for customers. That department offers specialty items such as house-prepared sausages.
Highlights at the bakery include “cakes made your way,” with an assortment of cake toppings and designs to choose from, and a gourmet chocolate dipping bar.
Murray’s Cheese Shop offers an astounding assortment of cheeses and specialty food items, including a preservative-free olive bar with everything from gourmet olives to sundried tomatoes. Murray’s Melts takes grilled cheese sandwiches to gastronomic heights.
The housewares department carries not only dishware and linens but a selection of small appliances ranging from coffeemakers to vacuums.
Young parents should be thrilled by two aisles of baby items, including diapers, car seats, cribs and other necessities.
“It’s a giant aisle filled with every size, manner, type of diaper you could ever want. For young kids coming in, a panacea of diapers,” said Andrea Cunningham, who became actively involved in the Trinity Site project 15 years ago when her own three children were in diapers and she had to trek down The Hill to purchase them.
Although Cunningham laughed about the irony that her own kids are now grown, she added, “We have such a need. There’s a window of opportunities for families with small children, where ease and convenience is so important. And they choose to either stay or not to stay, oftentimes by how difficult the situation here is for them.”
Several aisles display an assortment of casual clothing and shoes for every member of the family, some of which is marked down dramatically even on day one.
A sporting goods department has everything from volleyballs to bicycles.
“The whole point here is to offer things that you were going somewhere else to find,” said Project Manager Brett Godfrey, who has labored on the construction project for the last year.
Customers should also appreciate the convenience provided by 26 checkout counters.
Marsha Gilford, vice president of public affairs at Smith’s Food & Drug, applauded the community effort that made the new Marketplace a reality.
“Charles Dickens was credited with a quote that goes like this. ‘The whole difference between construction and creation is exactly this: that a thing constructed is loved after it is constructed, but a thing created is loved before it exists,’” Gilford said.
“And I believe that this store is both creation and construction, because you all had the vision of what you wanted Los Alamos to have to keep it a vital community, to have an impact on the economy, but more importantly, to have an impact on the lives of the families with small children and people of all ages that live and work here in this beautiful community that you share.”