By Cristin Burns
Phase three is now fully in swing. I’m sure you’ve heard the sawing, pounding and screeching from beyond the plastic wall. Yes, it’s annoying, but I can’t help but feel a little nostalgic that it will soon be over. This is the last round of construction and each day takes us closer to completion—closer to the start of a new chapter in New Leaf Market’s history and the end of the small co-op that hired me 10 years ago. I’m thrilled with how the store has grown and evolved into a full service grocery store and I can’t wait for Tallahassee to see the new New Leaf Market.
Our new meat and seafood department is now open. Niman Ranch all natural beef, Thompson Farm pork and Murray’s all natural chicken are a few selections from the meat department. The seafood department has equally good selection with Florida Fresh red grouper, amberjack, flounder and mahi mahi, along with wild Pacific halibut and wild Alaskan salmon.
Not to be outdone, the frozen section is fully stocked with an assortment of new items. From Glutino, we have gluten-free macaroni and cheese and pizzas. All natural potstickers from Ling Ling and Michael Angelo’s Italian natural cuisine are also new additions. The ice cream section has seen the most action with new selections from Alder’s, Häagen-Dazs, Purely Decadent and Ciao Bella. Take advantage of the heat and stock up on delicious new frozen treats.
Work is still on track. To date, the offices and sales floor have been gutted, under slab electrical has been installed and the cement has been re-poured. The offices, which require significantly less work than the sales floor, are coming along quickly. It will be a relief when the staff is able to settle into their new office spaces.
Construction is scheduled to be completed in late October, but the work won’t stop there. Once the sales floor is complete we have another round of overnight shifts to place everything in its final location. New grocery and wellness shelving will be assembled, new wood wine shelves installed and department and aisle signage added. With luck, the store will be finished before the holiday season is upon us.
In addition to Thanksgiving turkeys, the completed store will have indoor and outdoor deli seating, wide aisles, a re-designed deli including new self-serve options, 16 feet of chilled beer, 38 feet of wine, more checkouts, and expanded grab ’n go. I cannot wait for you to see the final product. Up to this point you have seen glimpses of the design, however I believe that the finished store will exceed your expectations.
Last but not least, we owe a big thank you to our neighbors Sahara, Cabo’s and Crispers. While we are cramped and unable to offer in-store seating for our staff, Sahara and Cabo’s have generously extended discounts to our employees. Crispers is allowing our employees to eat on their covered porch. We are extremely grateful to these businesses for their support and kindness.