Progressive Grocer Independent

DEC 2016

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8 | Progressive Grocer Independent | December 2016 All four of Oliver's stores are located within Sonoma County, greatly dictating how the stores oper- ate. Each of the stores functions as a commissary for a department. For example, the new store in Windsor has a large bakery and will produce most of the bakery items for all four stores; the Stony Point location functions as the commissary kitchen, with 40 chefs and 175 employ- ees overall in the deli; Montecito makes the majority of the salad dressings; and Cotati makes the salads. Trucks make two runs per day delivering product among the stores and the ware- house. Making each store an integral part of the opera- tion "gives them a stake and helps them see the other guys' point of view," Scott says. When the ma- jority of the production was done at the Stony Point store, the other stores began to view the pro- duction store as simply another vendor, making the relationship strained at times. "Now they all have a stake in making the deliv- ery system work," he adds. e system works only because the stores are located within a small geographical radius. "All of our stores are within 20 to 30 minutes of each other," Maass notes. "It's very easy to make a round like that. If we were in Napa or in other places, we couldn't do it." Measured growth Part of Oliver's success also is in the measured approach that Maass and Scott have taken toward growth, opening a new store only every seven or eight years. e newest store, in Windsor, which has been open only a little more than six months, came about when the developer of a shop- ping center was looking for a tenant. While all four of Oliver's loca- tions have different footprints, this location proved more of a challenge than the others, due to its shallow- ness. Scott Gross, Windsor store director, also was tasked with serving as project manager for the new store. He had to figure out the layout and design elements, including fitting the used equipment and fixtures that Oliver's had purchased before open- ing the Windsor store. "If we want [customers] to make an informed choice, which we do, then we have to have our information out there." —Tom Scott, CEO (retired) Cover Story Cover Story TAVERN OFF THE GREEN Oliver's Market introduced its grocerant concept in the Windsor store, featuring a bar and tap as well as a dining room with table service. Oliver's Market

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