Major redo in store for new Hansen Foods

SUTTONS BAY – Just over a year after an arsonist’s fire destroyed the building that housed Hansen Foods in Suttons Bay, the locally-owned grocery store will soon have a home in a new 15,000 square-foot building. Construction is scheduled to begin in just a few short weeks with an anticipated opening date of July 4.

Greg Shugart of Shugart Builders Inc. in Traverse City is handling the project. According to Dave Hansen, who owns Hansen Foods with his wife Leslie, Shugart Builders was able to get their temporary store built and opened by Sept. 21, just three months after the June 26th fire claimed the store.

The new building will be triple the size of the original store and located about 300 yards behind the original site. Hansen says the building will be nestled in a cove of trees with a creek running off to the side of the building. He hopes to have a picnic area and trails down to the creek area.

The building facade will have a real “up north” look, ensuring that the store blends in well with the natural surroundings and is more compatible with the look of the community.

The interior will sport some new changes, including expanded food sections. Some of the amenities patrons can expect include an enhanced produce section with a summer farmer’s market that will carry only locally-grown produce. There will also be a cappuccino and smoothie bar and a bakery.

The store’s popular deli will be two times its original size and will have a hot deli and other traditional fare. The store will also have a walk-in beer cooler and a huge wine selection.

“We will carry both locally-produced and imported wines. It will almost be a wine shop within the store,” says Hansen.

TV screens throughout the store will be tuned into the Food Channel and there will be cooking demonstrations inside the store. Shoppers will also have access to a “food concierge,” which will have immediate Internet access and can answer questions about ingredients, cooking methods and even offer recipes. As before, the store will offer a special order service for hard-to-find food items. The popular ethnic and gourmet food section will also be greatly expanded.

Hansen plans to use local artisans in designing the store’s interior look. For instance, says Hansen, “The aisle markers will all be different. One might be wood, another metal and still another made from pottery.”

The floor will be stained concrete instead of tile. This will allow for more creative design options. Hansen Foods also plans to embrace the cultural diversity of the community. Store signs will be written in English, Spanish and Odawa.

A subtle difference customers may not notice is that rather than traditional forced air heating, the store will have radiant heating through the floors.

“Forced air heats from the ceiling–no one walks on the ceiling,” Hansen said. “Radiant heat is much more energy efficient.”

Once Hansen Foods has made the move to the new building, a 12,000 square-foot “mini mall” will be added to the store’s current temporary home and leased to other businesses. BIZNEWS