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Choice Market’s Wickedly Smart Expansion

Denver’s hybrid grocer pushes innovation in the c-store space
Photograph by WGB Staff

Just more than a month after Denver-based Choice Market opened its second location, the hybrid grocery store/fast-casual restaurant/upscale c-store is talking about opening its third storefront in the city in April.

The third location, which will feature a chef-driven commissary kitchen, prepared foods, fresh produce, groceries, beer, autonomous checkout, fuel pumps and supercharging stations for electric cars, is planned for Colfax Avenue, dubbed “the longest, wickedest street in America.”

“This will be our first location with gas pumps and a supercharging station. It will be a multimodal, new age, stand-alone convenience store with parking,” said Choice Market Founder and CEO Mike Fogarty, who adds that plans are also underway to secure a bike share at the location.

While the distance and naughtiness of the street may be an exaggeration, what is true and compelling for Fogarty are the 40,000 to 50,000 cars that drive down Colfax each day. The location, at 2200 E. Colfax Ave., is also underserved on the grocery store and fuel fronts, he says.

Like its original location in downtown Denver, which opened in 2017, Choice Market’s third storefront will offer prepared foods made from a scratch kitchen. Choice said classically trained and experienced chefs will work to develop seasonal menus and offer elevated grab-and-go food.

Fogarty describes the store’s product mix as 85% to 95% better for you. Choice works with local farmers to source a majority of its ingredients and products, including organic produce and antibiotic-free and nitrate-free proteins.

Choice Market expects its inclusion of a supercharging station at the Colfax store will be a game changer. “We want to push some innovation in the c-store space,” Fogarty said.

“The electrification of America is coming, and faster than most c-store/gas-and-oil locations realize,” he said. “In three to five years, a large percentage of the population will be driving electric cars.”

Because it takes 20 to 30 minutes to supercharge a car, Choice Market seeks to offer a comfortable and delicious way to pass the time.

“We’re offering a place to come and hang out while you fuel up, use Wi-Fi, eat a sandwich and get a six-pack of beer. That’s what convenience should be,” Fogarty said. “Consumers feel they are spending too much time in the 100,000-square-foot grocery store just to pick up a few things.”

The chain's second Denver location, which opened in October, represents a partnership with the Denver Housing Authority. “The communities we serve are our top priority, which is why we couldn’t be more thrilled to partner with the Denver Housing Authority and Youth Employment Academy for this Choice Market,” Fogarty said in a statement. “This location will provide grocery staples, fresh meals and home and health options that are priced to meet the needs of the Mariposa community.”

In addition to its pending Colfax storefront, Choice Market has two additional locations in development. A fourth Denver location is slated for the third quarter of 2020, and its fifth store is planned for a hospital campus in Aurora, Colo., in early 2021.

 

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