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Town & Country planning remodel of Winslow store

Town & Country Market officials hope to begin a remodel of the Winslow grocery store during the first quarter of 2014. The remodel will likely take a year to finish. - Courtesy of Town & Country Markets
Town & Country Market officials hope to begin a remodel of the Winslow grocery store during the first quarter of 2014. The remodel will likely take a year to finish.
— image credit: Courtesy of Town & Country Markets

Bainbridge Island’s signature grocery store is about to get a facelift to prepare it for the future.

The Town & Country Market in downtown Winslow has been a Bainbridge Island feature, and proudly so, for more than 55 years. With a grocery, deli, bulk food section, cafe and floral department, it has served as a gathering spot for islanders.

But the store is looking ahead at a remodel that will bring a more modern look and feel.

“We feel now is the right time,” said Town & Country Markets’ Board Chairman Larry Nakata.

“We are fully committed to downtown and recognizing the store’s place in our island’s history,” he said. “We want to be part of Winslow’s exciting future.”

Nakata is son of the company’s co-founder Mo Nakata.

Town & Country officials submitted paperwork to the city of Bainbridge Island Thursday in order to begin the permitting process. The company hopes to start construction during the first quarter of 2014. The remodel will take approximately a year.

The store will remain open during construction.

Plans for the remodel are still being ironed out.

Town & Country, however, does know it wants to expand its capacity as a community gathering space. Seating for around 50 people will likely be added to the deli area, while the market’s mezzanine area will be improved to accommodate 50 more islanders. The mezzanine will offer views of the interior of the store as well as Winslow Way.

Along Winslow Way, in front of the building, officials are talking about a possible “pocket park” that leads into the store, according to Becky Fox Marshall with Town & Country Markets.

The interior of the store will be modified to accommodate all its retail operations on the main floor. The lower floor — where islanders shop for wine and liquor, bulk foods, housewares and more — will be moved upstairs.

The lower floor will likely be converted into offices with a meeting space.

Despite the move to include all sales on the main floor, Town & Country will not expand beyond its current footprint.

The ultimate goal for the remodel is to further incorporate a local community feel.

“We are mindful that people gather at our store,” Marshall said. “There are groups that meet regularly in the cafe.”

Town & Country CEO Bill Weymer noted that the market has developed into more than just a grocery.

“We still want to be the place you go when the power goes out, to see your friends and neighbors, to eat well and get inspired and connect with our staff,” he said.

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