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Ken’s Market expansion opens Monday

Today we got a sneak peek inside the new section of Ken’s Market, which is set to open Monday morning.

Co-Owner and Co-Manager Scott Giles says the temporary wooden wall between the two sections of the store will come down just after the store closes at 11 o’clock Sunday night. The new produce section should be all set to go in the new space when the store reopens at 6 o’clock Monday morning. Below is the wall that will come down. The rounded shelving is for the floral department.

The new produce section will be about three times as large as in the old store. This is looking towards the northwest.

The dark wooden doors in the far back are where 75 bins of bulk food will go. The bins will contain various granolas, trail mix, rice, flour, candy, chocolate-coated treats, nuts, etc.

And this is the east wall. (That’s a lone package of cantaloupe chunks sitting on the refrigerated shelf today. The health inspector was expected to inspect the unit later today.)

“Monday morning we’re going to be in business here on this side, just selling produce,” Giles says. The rest of that side will be blocked off as workers finish assembling and stocking shelves. “Then as the day goes on we’ll bring in more.”

In addition to produce, the new side will have meat, expanded floral and other general groceries.

“We’re looking forward to having ample room for customers to move about the store. It limited us a lot,” Giles says of the old store, when the aisles were barely wide enough for two carts to pass each other.

“By the end of next week the store should be set,” he says. “At that point we’ll still be working out some bugs and fine tuning.”

They’ll have customer comment cards out at the check stands and at various places throughout the store. Giles says they want customers’ honest feedback on what they like and don’t like.

You’ll still see construction happening at the back and upstairs as they finish up the office area. Giles says he’s excited to finally have a real office to do paperwork. That space will also have a conference room for staff meetings and an employee lounge.

“We’re very happy with our contractor, Henken Wright,” Giles says. “They’ve been very good at working with us, keeping us in business this whole time. We only lost one day through this whole thing. It’s been a tremendous learning experience. We have learned to adapt,” he says with a laugh.

That’s Giles on the right, and Co-Owner and Co-Manager Bill Stamey on the left.

Giles’ dad, Ken, still works a fair amount at the store, despite selling it back in the mid-1970s. Giles and his brothers, Greg and Steve, still own Marketime in Fremont. The family no longer owns the Queen Anne Ken’s Market.

Giles says his dad doesn’t earn a salary for his work at the store that bears his name. “He gets paid in soup, you could say. He loves our soup!”

Giles says he and his brothers learned about the importance of customer service from their dad. “His core values are customer service, a well-stocked and clean store,” he says. “He’s instilled that in us more than anything over the years. Listen to your customers.”

Ken’s Market’s grand re-opening celebration is tentatively set for April 7.

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