O&A Masthead

Colorado News —
September 2017

Columnist — Joyce Trent

DENVER — A convenience store that delivers?

Mike Fogarty is promising that, both literally and figuratively, when he launches his Choice store here this month.

Fogarty has long been convinced that the convenience store needs an update. Traveling for business the food industry veteran noticed that every convenience store he stopped at had the same old things: overly processed food; sub-quality food; not many local products.

So he sat down and devised a plan and hired food experts to implement it. The store will feature as many fresh, locally grown food items as possible. No nitrates or antibiotics allowed.

Colorado flag

Much of the food will be made-to-order. Selections will include burritos, cereal, bowls and toast for breakfast, salads, sandwiches, flatbreads and smoothies for lunch or snacks. There also will be hot and cold grab-and-go items such as continental sausages, soups and five or six vegan sandwiches.

If customers wants to do the cooking themselves but don't want to do the planning, they can stop at the store's market section with cook-at-home goods.

Of course, the store also will offer the usual chips, sodas, candy, ice cream and toiletries. A shelf or two will contain basic medical supplies.

Choice will be open 24 hours, seven days a week, and will deliver using Uber-Eats. It won't matter what time of day or night a person develops a craving, the store will send food to satisfy it.

"It doesn't matter if it's 2 a.m. on a holiday," said Fogarty. "We'll be there."

The store will be on the ground floor of an apartment complex in a high traffic neighborhood about to become more high traffic as new residential development now in the works kicks in.

In the future, he expects to offer gasoline as he has not ruled out stand-alone stores. He hasn't ruled out anything as he seeks to "break free of the conventional convenience store mind-set" and cater to an ever-changing population.

He also has big plans. One day soon he hopes to expand across the west.

DENVER — WOW Carwash Express Tunnel opened with a splash here, offering free washes for ten days.

Fully automated and computerized, it is designed to offer a fast and clean exterior wash, complemented by free vacuums and mat cleaners.

The owners are environmentally conscious and use soft cloths and recycled water.

Customers remain inside their vehicles as automation guides them through the tunnel where the vehicle is soaked, soaped, washed, given protectant, rinsed and dried in less than two minutes, according to co-owner Julie Petty.

"We take pride in offering a clean and fast washing experience in hopes of obtaining long-term customers," she said. For a modest monthly fee a motorist can have his vehicle washed as many times as necessary.

Management intends to become an integral part of the community, participating in many charitable events, especially those that focus on the environment.

GLENWOOD SPRINGS — Now there are three Gas and Grass stores in Colorado. The latest opened here despite some concerns it was too near the route of many schoolchildren.

The location is only 539 feet away from a middle school, barely meeting the 500-foot separation requirement. A community school is also nearby. Students walk by daily, going to and from school and to a bus stop.

But the city council could find nothing in violation of city ordinances so the project was approved.

Dominic Mauriella, a spokesperson for Native Roots, the corporation operating the facility, noted there will be separate entrances for the gasoline station and the marijuana store and promised no one younger than 21 will be allowed on the premises.

Native Roots made history in 2015, opening two Gas and Grass stations in Colorado Springs, the first in the nation.

DENVER — Smash and grab is a growing trend in crime affecting convenience stores in Colorado.

Authorities say criminals are stealing cars, then using them to ram into stores where they loot and run.

Gun shops are also major victims.

In the past, authorities said, criminals stole vehicles for their own use or to sell them or the parts. Now vehicles are weapons to steal and abandon at the site.

All in all, crime, while down in most of the country, is up in Colorado. The state experienced a jump more than eleven times the rate of other major populated areas in the country. Some blame it on the legalization of marijuana, but others scoff at that explanation.

COLORADO SPRINGS — A pack of teen-age thieves went on a candy-grab spree here recently.

Three boys and a girl appeared on surveillance video as they entered two convenience stores in twenty minutes, grabbed candy and threatened the clerk before leaving. It was not known if they were armed. They are still at large.

DENVER — Although gasoline prices in some areas dipped to $2 or slightly over that mark, the average for a gallon of unleaded in the state was $2.28 at press time.

Colorado Springs averaged one of the lowest prices at $2.19.

The highest price, as usual in mountainous areas, was $2.72 in Vail.

Colorado was lower than the national average by only a penny.

Diesel fuel in the state continued to climb, averaging $2.35, an increase of twelve cents over the previous year at the same time.

Originally published in the September 2017 issue of the O&A Marketing News.
Copyright 2017 by KAL Publications Inc.

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