COLORADO CITY — In advance of its grand opening, Bee’s Marketplace held a soft opening of its newly designed facility, located at 1045 South Central Street in Colorado City, on Monday.
While the finer points of the redesign and all of the store’s new facilities will be officially opened at a celebration on April 2, customers were eager to check out the fancy new digs.
“It’s kind of a soft opening so that usually implies that we don’t have all the kinks ironed out,” Elaine Barlow, the store director said. “But we’re working on it. We worked last night to get everything ready for today. We’re about 90% there.”
The difference between the newly designed store and its older predecessor was immediately obvious. Customers estimated it’s about four times bigger, with more aisles and space to accommodate increased cart traffic.
Also new are many of the signs and logos in the store.
“You have to be relevant,” Barlow said. “You don’t want your logo to get dated. Our management team worked about a year and a half to update the color scheme and design. We wanted to make it a little bit upscale – but not too upscale – because we wanted people to have the hometown feel still.”
Barlow also discussed some of the new facilities that were added in the redesign.
“We added the Beans and Brews coffeeshop, and we added the Arctic Circle for our fast food,” she said. “We added a delicatessen and a bakery because we didn’t have them in our other store, and we have the pharmacy.”
1045, a lounge area with a beer and wine garden, will also open April 2.
“And then we have a fun little culinary kitchen, called Salt and Savor,” Barlow added. “And that can be rented out for kids cooking classes or a private party.”
The redesign was much needed, especially with the increased growth and tourist traffic coming through the area.
“We originally opened in 2013, and we’ve needed to grow since 2015,” Barlow said. “I think this will really improve the experience here in Colorado City, particularly for tourists. They’ll have someplace fun to hang out, get coffee.
“That’s what we’re really about … making this a destination,” she added. “It’s really about the experience.”
The new Bee’s Marketplace is one of many businesses in a growing service industry working to accommodate a booming population in the area.
“I do believe we have a lot of people moving here,” Barlow said, “and a lot of businesses are coming here too.”
Local resident Michelle Williams enjoyed taking in the new store while she drove two youngsters around in a shopping cart.
“It’s so incredible,” Williams said. “I’m really excited that there’s a Beans and Brews and an Arctic Circle. And there’s just a lot more product than there was before, so I’m excited about that.”
For those who missed the soft opening on Monday, the grand opening celebration will be held April 2, with a ribbon-cutting event expected to begin around 10 a.m.
“Everybody’s invited to come out,” Barlow said. “It’s going to be a fun, fun time. We’ll have a flag raising ceremony and a ribbon-cutting and a whole bunch of vendors will be out here. It’ll be a fun event.”
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