After years of protests, ballot measures and court proceedings, the grand opening of a newly developed anchor store for The Corners development in Wheat Ridge, the grand opening of the Lucky's Market …
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After years of protests, ballot measures and court proceedings, the grand opening of a newly developed anchor store for The Corners development in Wheat Ridge, the grand opening of the Lucky's Market at 3543 Wadsworth Blvd. offered up some welcome brevity to the saga.
There was a hunk of pork belly used for the ribbon cutting ceremony, and feel-good words like "Glorious" written in a playful cursive script decorated the walls of the new store. Out front workers roasted green chilies, while appreciative Coloradans walked by enjoying the scent.
"Life is a celebration, and food is part of every step," Lucky's President Chris Darling said. "But we also want to inspire people to be just a little healthier."
Darling and other also highlighted Lucky's goal of engaging with the community through volunteer efforts and donating quarterly to area nonprofits. Each store donates 10 percent of the profits from all purchases of the Lucky's store brand products to those local partners. Additionally, every time a shopper uses a Lucky's renewable bag can choose to donate 10 cents to the local charity of their choice. The nonprofit list rotates, but currently benefits The Family Tree, Developmental Disabilities Resource Center and Growing Home.
The 35,000 square foot store will employ roughly 150 employees. It is the sixth Colorado location for the grocery chain. There are Lucky's stores in 10 states, though it actually started in Boulder, Colorado.
"It will be so convenient for us, we can just walk here," said Maria Rickman, who lives in a nearby condominium, but came into the store to buy some produce during the grand opening.
Rickman said she and her husband moved to Wheat Ridge in 1980. She was not in favor of a previous plan to develop the corner into a shopping center with a Walmart store as the anchor tenant, saying the current development project that includes a small park, restaurants and walking trails seems preferable to her.
The store features some surprising features. A ramen noodle and sushi bar inhabits the deli section, and the cafe at the front of the store features kombucha, Hunter Bay coffee from Arvada, and Rickoli rootbeer from the nearby craft brewery by the same name.
Nearby commercial space, lining the actual corner of 38th Avenue and Wadsworth Blvd., is still under construction. But the first tenant, Tokyo Joes, is on schedule to open next month according to the on-site workers.
MORE: Corners development breaks ground
"This site has be undeveloped, underdeveloped for many years," Wheat Ridge City Manager Patrick Goff said. "As an anchor, Lucky's is really going to help draw people to the other restaurants that are planned."
Goff said the northeast corner of the development site was still under city control as soil contamination work continues there, before it too can be developed.
"I think this (Lucky's) will have some impact on our Sprouts (Kipling Street and 38th Avenue), but not too much. They're far enough away and really are different audiences," Goff said.
Store Director John Gengel said he hoped the company's particular particular blend of quality products and accessible fun would be welcome at the new location. but said so far the reception from shoppers has been good.
"I consider us incredibly fortunate to be here in Wheat Ridge," Gengel said.
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