Dan’s Foods reemerges as Park City Market
Take a closer look at the receipt after leaving Dan’s Supermarket checkout aisle: as it turns out, that cantaloupe and that soup can was actually purchased at Park City Market.
As of January, every Dan’s employee was officially re-hired under the new company name and receipts were changed, according to the store’s manager, Mike Holm.
It will take until later this spring, however, for the store’s signs inside and out to change, Holm says, since the company is still deliberating over a new logo design and since any modification to the storefront requires the city’s approval. He expects Park City Market signs will go up sometime in April.
Holm was hired by Dan’s Supermarket, Inc., in the fall of last year after working at Albertson’s for 18 years.
Dan’s hired him with the knowledge that he would turn things around, he says, with the hope that he would awaken Dan’s dormant potential.
"When I came over I told them Dan’s name didn’t have any value in Park City," Holm explains. "Local people knew about the store, but they weren’t impressed, so we decided we had to change the whole complexity of the store and I told them the first thing we had to do was change the name."
But Holm has reorganized the feel within Dan’s aisles as well. He’s brightened the ceilings with fresh light bulbs and installed a local coffee bar near the entrance.
And people have noticed, he says.
"People have been really great about giving us a try and they are very complimentary about the split aisles and the coffee bar and the professional cashiers," Holms reports. "We’re more affordable than Albertson’s and we have the same inventory and if we don’t, I can always order it. That’s easy."
Holm’s excitement about his new job has been contagious, and he estimates 30 Albertson’s employees followed him to Park City’s "other" grocery store.
"Well, he courted me a little, because he knew, for instance, that during the Sundance Film Festival, I need time to write as a movie critic," admits cashier Destiny Grose. "But I liked being courted. He knew I had a cult following in town and he knew what I wanted&He has the experience to know what he’s doing as a manager in the tourist grocery trade."
Grose has since been asked by friends and devotees what it’s like to change jobs after 16 years at Albertson’s.
"When people ask me how it is now, I tell them it’s the same. Everyone I worked with previously at Albertson’s is here now. These are the same friends I’ve worked with forever," she says.
But the energy has changed, Grose notes.
"We’re like a team now," she observes. "Mike’s so gung ho about making [Park City Market] work. People were ho-hum at Albertson’s, but everyone who’s here now is here because they want to be here. We’re all excited, because there’s such potential for this store."
By way of example, Grose points to all new features of the market, including the new scanning equipment at the checkout centers, the deli which makes salads and lemon-herb chicken fresh; the meats, the fish and the bakery.
"I used to joke about the fact that there was no such thing as a baker at a grocery store just defrosters," she says. "Here, that’s not true any more."
Part of knowing how to run a Park City grocery store is also knowing about gourmet foods, Grose notes.
"I think part of the reason Dan’s hasn’t done well in the past, is because they’ve hired young, inexperienced [cashiers]," she says. "You need to know that West of the Mississippi, Hellman’s Mayonnaise is Best Foods."
Grose reports that locals are catching on, and that Sundance Film Festival goers caught on quickly to the Dan’s renaissance.
"It’s hysterical — Dan’s is the talk of the town," she says. "It always had potential, I think, but it’s hard to compete with Albertson’s it’s so visible."
When compared to Albertson’s, Dan’s continues to have less traffic, but Holm suspects the tides are turning. January 23, SuperValu, another chain store operation, purchased the Albertson’s company.
Dan’s, or rather, the new Park City Market, also has more parking, Holm notes: Albertson’s has 165 stalls; Park City Market has over 300 in its proximity.
"I don’t know why anyone would fight that mess anymore," he says of Albertson’s.
Park City Market, the former Dan’s Foods supermarket, is open daily from 6 a.m. until midnight at 1500 Snowcreek Drive. For more information call 645-7139.
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