Progressive Grocer

AUG 2015

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30 | Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What's Next | August 2015 2015 Best Conversion (converting former building to new supermarket) Inspired Reinvention Hi Nabor Supermarket, Baton Rouge, La. Store Owner: Jim Crifasi Design Firms: Decorworx and Salco Construction Sparks of Inspiration Starting with a long-vacant building attached to a former restaurant space divided by a brick-and-cinderblock wall, Jim Crifasi wanted his new Hi Nabor supermarket to reflect his family history in the Baton Rouge, La., area and provide a comfortable, lively shopping experience. The inspiration for the new store was Crifasi's father and the company's founder, Sam Crifasi, who died one month before the family closed its previous store. Large photos of Sam — who loved Hi Nabor and put everything he had into making the banner's stores successful — hang in several locations throughout the store, along with photos of his wife, who died in 2009 and whose nickname for Sam was "Sunshine." As a tribute, the store's logo now features a shining sun — with nine points of light to represent the family's nine children — dotting the "i" in Hi Nabor, which, from its opening day, Nov. 6, 2014 (what would have been Sam's birthday), has attracted many loyal local "nabors." Distinctive Design Elements While many of the materials in the store have been reclaimed, other features are brand-new. The massive decorative arches —made from sheet metal that was laser-cut by hand by one of the store manager's brothers and connecting the two sides of the store — invite shoppers into an expansive fresh food department. Prepared foods, such as hot bars for breakfast, lunch and dinner; seasonal fare like rotisserie, smoked or fried turkey dinners; honey-basted baked hams; and pizza, play a large role in the store's lineup and are housed amid exposed painted ceilings and stained and polished concrete floors. A variety of word art is placed in various areas around the perimeter walls, along with three-dimensional glossy vinyl department signage, while the bold, eye-catching color scheme around the perimeter was orchestrated by Crifasi's sister Jan. Differentiation Devices The unique front end register markers featuring metal tubing and lantern lighting, fabricated by the store manager's brother and featuring local high schools' colors, were designed and installed by another Crifasi sibling, John, whose assistance was invaluable throughout the construction process. A large, exclusive photo of the Baton Rouge skyline, taken from across the Mississippi river, with the bridge in the foreground, was incorporated into an outline of the state of Louisiana that hangs on the front wall. Crifasi's wife's printing company, First Graphix, designed the aisle markers and also used local school colors. In keeping with the store's status as a great "nabor," its fresh smoothies are a big hit with patrons of the 24-hour fitness center that co-anchors the shopping center in which the supermarket is located.

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