It is that time again everyone! We bet you thought the renovations were over for now, well, they are not. These next few weeks and months at the co-op may be some of the most frustrating but well worth it- we promise!
The next set of renovations is going to be in three phases which started this past weekend. Saturday evening after the store was closed some of the employees and volunteers were busy moving shelving and some merchandise to where the old prep room used to be. (where the exposed brick is now, next to the stairs that lead up to the yoga studio and the customer bathroom). The bread has also temporarily moved to this location. The soup and coffee station has also been moved next to the register farthest away from the door until this series of renovations is complete. Sunday we were also still busy moving and organizing items from the bulk room and preparing for Monday morning.
Monday we were very busy moving all of the bulk bins and reassembling them in 21 Bridge Street where they will be available later this week. Once all of the items had been fully moved out of the bulk room the construction could start. This was the start of phase one. During this phase, the wall between the bulk room and the main room will be torn out to install a wheelchair accessible ramp and new entry-way into the bulk room. (Yay!) During this phase, the bulk room will also get a complete makeover with new flooring, paint, and lights! Once the bulk room and ramp are completed all of the bulk and products that were in the bulk room will be moved back in so the second phase can begin.
All of the bulk product will be moved back into the bulk room. The far half of the main room (where the freezers, tea, household, etc. is) will be blocked off and renovations will begin there. This is happening so we can do the flooring, painting and light fixtures in that half of the room. During the time of this phase we may go down to one register, so please keep in mind it may take a little longer to check out while phase two is underway. Just like in the previous phase the product that we can move will be moved into 21 Bridge Street temporarily while these renovations are in progress.
This phase will be the most difficult of the three. During this time the second half of the main room will begin its renovation. Most likely while phase three is being completed the entrance of the store will be 21 Bridge street. As before, the product from the main room will again be moved here. We just want to say that during this phase there may be limited or no access to certain product such as frozen, bread, produce and the drink/dairy cooler. We will do our best to move what we can into a part of the building that will be accessible.
These next steps in our store renovations are the most intense and most significant. This is now a three year and a half million dollar project that will be in full force these upcoming weeks. We just want to stress how thankful we are to all of our loyal customers and members, without all of you, we wouldn’t be here today. The Co-op has been in a few places and has seen its own set of various renovations but never any of this magnitude. We have stayed open during this whole process and plan to stay open until all of the projects is complete. We felt that is was extremely important to be here and open for the community as much as we possibly can during this time. We know it may be stressful coming in having things moved in different locations all of the time, having certain rooms blocked off and not being able to get to certain products at this time but we promise you it will be worth it. Once everything is complete the store will be brand new inside and out. The store will be able to have more and new products and everything will be a lot easier to get to. These next stages will be noisy, messy, loud, cold and probably aggravating at times but, just bear with us it will be over before you know it!
If you have any questions at all don’t hesitate to ask any of the employees, we are here to help. We can’t wait to share this exciting experience and a new chapter in the future of the North Country Food Co-op!