Jeff, Dan and Erin McNeil are independent owners/operators of the very successful Grocery Outlet in the Highlands. They are looking forward to bringing a second store to Skyway, scheduled for a Grand Opening on March 21, 2013.
The two stores will share something unique, utilizing whimsy, and nostalgic themes in their decorating. The Highlands location has a bowling alley theme, salvaged from the contents of the old building when it was gutted. The Skyway store will have a music theme, based upon research the owners did about the history of the neighborhood, and the famous people, such as Ray Charles, that came from the Skyway area.
Plans are well underway to rebuild the old grocery market located at 11656 68th Ave. S. (Its last incarnation was 'My Eldorado'). A longterm lease has been signed by Berkeley, CA based Grocery Outlet with the Boca Raton property owner, Kin Properties. Western Design Group is the architect.
Jeff, Dan and Erin explained that in making their decision to open a second store in Skyway, they were looking for "a neighborhood". The Highlands store is located on more of "a thoroughfare". When it snows, for example, people stay closer to home to do their shopping.
The new owners expressed some disappointment about the outcome of the annexation vote, because they were hoping to have both stores in Renton, but they will still tie together advertising for both stores.
The focus of the new store will be all about building relationships with residents and local businesses. The owners will be mindful of not competing with the local nursery, for example. Grocery Outlet does the buying, but local operators can make decisions about what to select. They hope to partner with our local food bank for donations, and they will be setting up an outdoor music venue in a grassy area at one end of the store for local performers. They are open to inviting fundraising to these performances, and are willing to donate food in order to help.
Grocery Outlet will begin hiring in February, and they will be looking for local employees. Their hours of operation will be seven days a week, from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 or 10:00 p.m.
The music theme will be an evolving process. The owners are scouting for used musical instruments, while their current employees are engaged in providing decorating ideas.
Safety will be greatly improved in the parking lot with bright outdoor lighting. LED lights and other 'green' features will be used on the interior.
Here's a link to plans, with an architect's rendering of how the store will look when finished: