Linda Johnson, General Manager
Just as we transition outside from the cold and snowy weather of winter to the new beginnings of spring, the recent Ribbon Cutting and the Grand Reopening signal the transition of Wheatsfield from the complex and lengthy construction phase of the expansion project to the reality of our beautiful new store. Even though the construction contract is paid and a majority of the project is complete, the real work is underway right now to shape all of the new areas of the store, equipment and staff into a cohesive force that can operate our new programs and space successfully to meet your needs. There are increased challenges that come with operating a bigger store with a higher sales volume and we are actively learning and adjusting each day to ensure that the investments made in the infrastructure of the store will be successful and worthwhile.
While we are busy gaining experience on a daily basis on how to make all of this work, there are a few construction items that still need attention. We’re working to complete the new employee breakroom in the basement of the east space. We have to finish the floor and provide furnishings for this spacious new room for employees to take their breaks in before it is ready to be occupied. The concrete floors in the area where the carts were stored previously and in the vestibule have been damaged over the years by ice melt coming in on the wheels of the grocery carts from the parking lot. The floors in these areas will be repaired as soon as the outside temperature reaches 70 degrees on a consistent basis. The vestibule floor where the carts are stored now will be redone with an epoxy finish that will be impervious to ice melt in the future and the floor where the carts were stored previously will be repaired where it is pitted and returned to its former polished concrete finish.
The most disruptive construction left to be completed is the redesign and replacement of the concrete around the stoop at the front door of the store which heaved again this winter after being replaced with the rest of the parking lot a year ago. We will coordinate this work with our general contractor, Harold Pike Construction, around the various events that are planned for this spring and early summer, hopefully with only a two to three day disruption of access to the front door. We’ll let you know when that work is scheduled and how you can access the store through the emergency exit by produce or from the east patio deck door while this work is being done.
Thank you for your loyalty and patience throughout the expansion project. From shopping through the construction to lending your resources to finance the expansion, we couldn’t have done it without you!