Town & Country Market gets prepared for store-wide remodel

Winslow Way has made quite a few changes over the past year, and the area isn’t finished with its modern makeover.

The Town & Country Market on Winslow’s main drag is getting ready to knock down a few walls and upgrade its in-store equipment.

“We don’t intend to dramatically change the building,” said Town & Country Market CEO Bill Weymer. “The building has a certain comfort with it and it fits downtown.”

A start date has not been set for the remodel, though company officials are certain that it is coming soon and are aiming to complete the project by late 2013. A major change will be to swap out the market’s old equipment with new coolers.

“A lot of the equipment is pretty dated, like the refrigeration cases,” Weymer said. “And with that change comes some energy efficiency improvements. We have some very old and tired equipment in that store.”

The remodel will also include structural improvements to the 55-year-old Bainbridge Island market.

At this stage, planning has barely begun so it is difficult to say which parts of the store will change, but market officials do know where to look.

“There are certain areas of the building where we know the structure needs to be upgraded,” Weymer said. “And the phone system and the wiring.”

Weymer noted that there may be limited opportunities to expand the store’s square footage, or reorganize the floor and preparation areas to provide more space for customers to shop.

“There is some room here and there to add some small footage, but we are going to keep the same footprint,” Weymer said. “The other thing that is essential is that we maintain the parking area — we have to be very careful there.”

Weymer said that honoring the historical significance of the company’s first store location is a priority. The iconic Town & Country sign, for example, won’t be changed.

The company is making an effort get input on the renovations from the island community and market staff, and the company has set up an email account at specifically for feedback and suggestions on the remodel.

“I know that folks have a lot to say and we expect that people will have ideas and input for us and we wanted to give them a way to do that,” Weymer said.

“I’ll be looking at all the emails so we’ll start to build a wish list, so to speak.”

The market will also hold staff meetings to get ideas.

After they build their wish list, the grocery store will begin the designing phase to get a better idea of what is feasible.

And by the end of 2013, islanders will have another corner of Winslow Way brought into the modern age.

“We feel that Bainbridge is a vibrant market and we can do a better job serving it,” Weymer said. “I would ask people to be patient with us — the critical stage here is to get input on what people desire.”

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