Progressive Grocer Independent

DEC 2016

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December 2016 | Defining the Independent Market | 13 rate coordinator oversees the section in each of the four stores. e department also skews more natural than the rest of the store. While customers can find conven- tional items like aspirin and vita- mins, the section additionally offers a large selection of homeopathic items. At Oliver's location in the heart of Sonoma County's wine country, the wine department is a feature of the store. While it's fully stocked with labels from all over the world, the company's emphasis on local is on full display. With the stress on county-only local, Sonoma varieties greatly outnumber Napa selections. "My wine buyer didn't buy into this, but I wanted to slot all of the Napa wines with the French wines because they're imported," Scott jokes. Oliver's offers a half-dozen variet- ies of private label wines, and recently introduced a sparkling wine. "ey've done very well," Scott notes. "We've had them for a little over a year, and I think we sold 3,700 cases." Center store embodies Oliver's commitment to giving customers a choice by having both a conventional and a natural buyer competing for shelf space. e two buyers use movement reports to make their respective cases for each category's allotted space. "By and large, what we get is the best of both worlds," Scott says. "I do think having two people, each with their own focus, we get away from having a biased buyer that leans one way or another. Like our wellness depart- ment, even though it's integrated, the buyer definitely has a natural bias, which is why the department has a natural skew. We've tried not to do that in center store." Meat of the Matter e meat department also is focused on choice, offering a four-tier pro- gram to give customers exactly what they want, from local to organic to pasture-raised to non-GMO. "e non-GMO piece is very important because it's the first one of its kind," says Todd Davis, meat coordinator. "at's the most expensive offering." e Mindful Meats program is organic, non-GMO, pasture-raised beef procured solely from family farms in Sonoma County. e com- pany sources retired dairy cows to provide the beef to the stores. "It's a different texture," Davis admits. "It's not going to have as good of a chew as an Angus Choice steak or, obvi- ously, a Prime steak. But with Mind- ful being organic, non-GMO and local-born, -raised and -harvested, that has a value to a lot of Sonoma County people." e other beef options include FOOD BARS Oliver's Market 's Windsor location features several hot and cold bars that make it easy for customers to grab and go.

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