As the first anniversary of the King Soopers shooting approaches next month, officials have unveiled the newly redesigned South Boulder grocery store which is set to reopen on Wednesday.
With a new entrance, large windows and raised ceilings, grocery store officials hope the new design will provide a bright, open market feel for people who work and shop in the Table Mesa Drive store. The revamp also includes space for a memorial garden that will commemorate the 10 people who were killed there in a March 22 mass shooting.
The changes were largely inspired by feedback from King Soopers employees and community members. When the grocery store began working on its redesign plans, it solicited recommendations that informed decisions throughout the redesign process.
The store no longer has the familiar King Soopers design. Instead, it has more natural light and a feeling of openness. This is all thanks to community suggestions, according to spokesperson Jessica Trowbridge. She said many people have expressed a desire for a store with an open design and natural light that captures the view of the mountains.
Instead of an east and west entrance, the new design features a central “grand vestibule”, with a large mural of the Flatirons painted by local artist Lael Har greeting people as they enter the store.
Other updates inside the store include a larger floral department, an updated Starbucks kiosk, and an expanded produce section.
Additionally, the parking lot has been reconfigured with a “totally new flow,” Trowbridge noted.
There have been security upgrades to the store, but Trowbridge gave no details, saying it was proprietary information that could not be revealed without potentially putting the store at risk.
“We will remain committed to ensuring we have a safe working and shopping environment,” Trowbridge said.
For some, reopening the store is a necessary step in the community’s healing journey.
This particular grocery store, which turns 50 this summer, has been a part of Christine Chen’s life since she was a child. She remembers coming here to do her shopping with her grandmother who lived in the neighborhood. Now it’s his neighborhood grocery store.
She said she was thrilled to have a convenient space to shop again, but it goes deeper than that. For Chen, South Boulder King Soopers is more than a grocery store. It’s a community hub where she knows the employees and might bump into a neighbor.
“I’m really happy to see it open again, although I know it will engender complicated feelings in a lot of people, including, probably, myself when I walk in,” Chen said.
Trowbridge echoed those sentiments. Partly for this reason the store was officially dubbed the “Mesa King Soopers Table”.
“It’s a special place,” she said.
The memorial of the 10 people who lost their lives is an important aspect of the revamp according to Chen.
Trowbridge said it was also something the outlet had heard a lot about. She said the store received many suggestions for bringing the space to life, including many recommendations on planting trees.
In June, the Table Mesa King Soopers will open a memorial tree garden on the west corner of the parking lot with 10 trees in honor of the lives lost. At this time, a sign indicates where the garden will be planted.
Before reopening on Wednesday, the Mesa King Soopers Table will hold a 9 a.m. ceremony at the grocery store.