O&A Masthead

Colorado News —
October 2020

Columnist — Joyce Trent

DENVER — Choice Market opened its third location in Denver this summer. Each is a little different and with each expansion the owner offers more hi-tech options.

Converted from a Chinese restaurant, the store on the east side of the city pays homage to its predecessor, stirring up several Asian dishes. But there is nothing old about its offerings and the way they are delivered.

Customers can choose from a wide variety of stomach pleasers, from fresh seafood to fried chicken to an udon noodle bowl, pick up a six-pack of craft beer to go with it, use self service to check out, then gas up or charge their vehicles before heading home.

If they are already home they can use a mobile app to shop and pay, then sit back and wait for delivery workers on a bike or car powered by electricity to arrive. The service operates nearly 24/7.

Colorado flag

Owner Mike Fogarty believes in giving local suppliers the business. He sells Bruz Beers. Bruz has a taproom on the other side of the alley. Meat comes from River Bear American Meats, founded by Denver chef Justin Brunson. Take and bake pizzas are made by DC Pie Co., across the street, and ice cream is whipped up by Smith-Canon a few doors down.

The produce is all organic and features Colorado brands. Fresh salad greens, pesto and chimichurri come from Gotham Greens, a masssive indoor farm in Aurora. Method Coffee and Teatulia tea provide the waker-uppers.

The delivery service is not just for the pampered. It also is to aid the elderly and those afraid to get out during the pandemic.

The store itself is designed with safety in mind. Plexiglass separates customers from the kitchen and check-out counter.

The first Choice market opened downtown in 2017 with a menu of house-made food and grab-and-go items along with a few necessities.

A fourth market already is in the works that will utilize frictionless shopping whereby cameras and shelf sensors track purchases using AI technology. All the customer has to do is approve the tally with a click or gesture.

DENVER — When life hands you a lemon, make lemonade. When life hands you a mask mandate, sell masks.

That is one way a Denver Conoco found to adapt to the new regulations spawned by the pandemic. The Conoco at 2100 S. Monoco Parkway offers masks at $15 apiece. Now, when someone tries to enter without the state-required face covering they can't use the excuse they don't own one. They can just plop down the money and start shopping.

COLORADO SPRINGS — A car wash recognized the turmoil teachers were going through as a new school year started during the pandemic.

Water Works offered full-service car washes to teachers with presentation of some form of identification on three separate days at all its locations. Owner Jim Spinato said, "We understand that this is an uncertain time for teachers and we want to make sure their car is clean and sanitized."

As if that weren't enough he offered them cookies donated by Sasquatch cookies.

COLORADO SPRINGS — Motorists here experienced Labor Day weekend gasoline prices that hadn't been that low in four years.

The street price of a gallon of unleaded gasoline ran about $2.34 a gallon. It hadn't been that cheap since 2016 when it hovered around $2.16 a gallon. This year's price was down eighteen cents from the year before.

Prices in the Springs had been drifting lower for several weeks after hitting a high of $2.463, just before the Fourth of July.

In the state, prices averaged $2.35 a gallon, which was also good news for drivers as it was down 24 cents from a year ago.

"It's a win for motorists," said Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy. "Amidst the pandemic and high unemployment numbers it could be worse." He predicted the trend would continue through the fall when demand drops and winter blends of fuel which are cheaper to produce come on-line.

COLORADO SPRINGS — Retailers who sell tobacco products got a break recently when the City Council backed off two proposals that would have caused higher prices and more inconvenience.

The Council decided to abandon the proposed ten-cent fee on plastic bags that would have been put up for a vote on the November ballot. Some members felt it was poor timing during a pandemic. Others felt that the fee was a new tax and should have been framed as such.

The Council also decided not to go ahead with an ordinance that would have required tobacco sellers to get a local license and that set new penalties for underage possession of tobacco.

Opponents said it would have created a third layer of tobacco rules on top of new federal and state laws that have raised the legal age for purchasing tobacco products to 21 from 18.

A new state law requires all retailers that sell tobacco to obtain a license on or after July 1, 2021.

DENVER — A gasoline station on the edge of the RiNo district is undergoing a renaissance.

The former Jenny's Market convenience store is being converted into a 4,500-square foot 7-Eleven.

Preet Puri of K & G Petroleum said the property has not been remodeled in 27 years. The upgrade will cost an estimated $3 to $3.5 million and will include fixes to the car wash.

Originally published in the October 2020 issue of the O&A Marketing News.
Copyright 2020 by KAL Publications Inc.

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