Progressive Grocer Independent

AUG 2016

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14 | Progressive Grocer Independent | August 2016 Piggly Wiggly Crestline including items from a candle maker who created a scent called e Pig. All local, organic and gluten-free products feature shelf tags that call out those features to draw customers' attention. e focus on local extends beyond the store's walls in different ways. For example, the Crestline location is down the street from a garden center. e partners decided not to bring any plants into the grocery store (even though they sell a lot of plants at their other locations) so as to not take sales away from another local business. Similarly, since a variety store across the street sells a lot of balloons and greeting cards, those products aren't available in the Crestline Pig. "It's not all about us," Basim says. "It's about the community, and that's what people like about us. We try not to hurt these other businesses." Part of this is because only one chain has a presence in the village, and the rest of the businesses are locally owned, Andy notes. at one chain is the national drug store that assumed the lease of the original location of the Crestline Piggly Wiggly. In designing the store, one thing the partners knew was that the neighbor- hood would want a lot of perishables and fresh food. "We knew around the perimeter had to be some- thing special, with the space we had and because of the neighborhood," Basim explains. "We wanted to touch on a lot of things, but we wanted to do it right." Freshness First e produce section features a 16-foot organic section and sources as many products locally as possible. e store just started a pilot program with a local nonprofit that operates a warehouse for local farmers to sell products to. e warehouse then sells and distributes the products to various local stores. e idea is to have one gathering and distribution spot to alleviate some of the hassles of multiple deliveries; however, the test for the Crestline Piggly Wiggly is whether the supply will be adequate. e partners are hopeful, since lo- cal is so important to their customers. "ey support local," Basim says. "Even if the local product isn't as 'pretty,' if they know it's local, they'll buy it." While the store had only been open a few weeks at the time of Pro- gressive Grocer Independent's visit, the produce department was doing about 13.5 percent distribution. Andy and Basim pushed to put in an extensive salad bar, while Naseem balked at the idea, since the area is more residential than business; he has since admitted he was wrong. e store also includes a deli that has proved popular, selling about 300 to 400 pounds weekly of chicken salad that's made fresh in-house. Plans also call for an expanded prepared food program that will likely be launched in the fall, once the store has been open for a while. Cheers e new store's expanded space also allows for a larger wine and beer department, something the partners' "One man can't do it; it took a team, and we have a good team. We'd meet and discuss everything, and we just came together, like partners are supposed to do." —Naseem Ajlouny SUCCESSFUL SALAD BAR The extensive salad bar has proved popular with the residents of Crestline.

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