Well, it's finally here. For those of you who live near downtown Tacoma or the Stadium District, your newly revamped neighborhood grocery store Stadium Thriftway, is finally having their Renovation Celebration beginning today.
What's not to love about these guys and this grand accomplishment? It took more than eight months and approximately $2 million to make this might transformation come to fruition. That's a lot of bananas my friends. But what really impressed me the most was the ease of transformation and the commitment to their customers to make it as painless as possible.
While I can talk about all the amazing expansions in every department, whether it is deli, produce, wine or beer, there are certainly more gritty topics that came to the surface when I sat down with Stadium Thriftway owner, Mike Hargreaves.
The sorted talk of coin can be a touchy subject with most folks, but not Hargreaves. I flat out asked about the financing of this project and whether he received any loans or provisions from the city, and while the City of Tacoma helped him connect with SBA, there was no financial support from them. And in his opinion, that's the way it should be.
"No tax dollars should be used to fund projects like this," explains Hargreaves. "I made my own investment in this neighborhood and when the city offers incentives like parking to help similar projects with public funds, that's just not right. Don't get me wrong; we are great partners with the city. We continually give back to the community and we are proud to do so."
Hargreaves also pointed out that all the businesses in the Stadium District are locally owned and operated.
"That's something unique and we are very proud," says Hargreaves. "You can find just about anything you need within walking distance."
Add a sushi joint to the Stadium District and my life here would be complete.
When I asked Hargreaves what has been the greatest overall improvement, without hesitation he says, "Before the renovation the store was a good place to pickup a few things here and there. Now, we can offer our customers the full grocery shopping experience."
While in his office I noticed spanky bright new white shirts. Apparently white is the new black and now that the store has a new look, so do his employees. They have hired about 10 employees in the recent months and are on the hunt for more. Just know they are very picky about who they hire, so bring your "A" game.
Some great event extras have been added with the new facelift, including wine and beer tastings (ask Brian for more details), Thursday Night Happy Hour featuring 50 percent off selected produce from 4-8 p.m. and Friday barbecues from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
What are my favorite new additions? Pasta and Burrito Bar, expanded beer selection, more seafood and of course CHEESE. The bathrooms are pretty nice, too.
Through Sept. 21, the store will be offering product give-ways, cooking demonstrations and oodles and oodles of opportunities to make merry. Also, be sure to stop by this Friday night for the BIG celebration.
618 N. 1st St., Tacoma