Co-op celebrating completion of its downtown store remodel

The Community Food Co-op is done with phase two of its three-part remodel and all that’s left in the multi-year upgrade is a parking lot expansion.

The co-op is holding a celebration of its newly renovated downtown flagship store, at 1220 N. Forest St., on Friday, Dec. 4.

Improvements to the store include a new mezzanine seating area, remodeled bathrooms, a salad bar and a hot food bar with vegan, vegetarian and meat offerings for breakfast, lunch and dinner, according to a press release from the co-op.

Remodel work finished this week.

“The response so far has been great,” said Adrienne Renz, co-op outreach manager. “Customers like the way it looks and they really like the hot bar.”

The first phase of the co-op’s remodel started in November 2013 with the purchase of a 10,000-square-foot building at 405 E. Holly St., across the street from the flagship store. The co-op turned what was once an auto parts store into a bakery, which opened in July 2015. The building, called the Co-op Connections Building, also houses offices, meeting rooms, and a teaching kitchen.

That freed up space in the flagship store and made way for phase two.

In the third and final phase of the planned expansion, the often-crowded parking lot at the flagship store will get about 31 extra parking spaces — for a total of 83 — and a reconfiguration to make it easier to get in and out of the lot. That project should start and end in the first half of 2016, Renz said.

The lot is also getting more handicap parking spaces and two rain gardens that will capture and filter stormwater, according to the co-op’s newsletter. The co-op plans to keep at least part of the parking lot open throughout the remodel, Renz said.

Reopening celebration

The Community Food Co-op is celebrating the completion of its newly remodeled store on Friday, Dec. 4 with events in both the flagship store and the new Co-op Bakery and Connections Building.

The celebration includes food and wine tastings, raffles and giveaways, art displays, several live music performances, and local baristas competing in a latte art contest.

Here’s a full schedule of events:

In the deli mezzanine:
5:30 – 8:30 p.m. Wine tasting with Vic Hubbard, downtown store wine manager
5:30 – 8:30 p.m. Book signing with Tom Malterre of Whole Life Nutrition
5:45 – 6:45 p.m. Music by The Kid’Sax Ensemble
6 – 10 p.m. Art Walk showing paintings by local artist Ben Mann
7 – 10 p.m. Music by Blues Union

In the store from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.:
Co-op gift card giveaways, Stay Well Basket raffle from the Co-op wellness department, whole boneless ham raffle from Beeler’s. Co-op food and drink tastings (produce, deli, meat, bakery, and bulk departments). Additional food samples from RAW Cha Cha Chocolat, Acme Farms Fine Cheese, Spice Hut, Fresh Breeze Organic Dairy, Bellingham Coffee Roasters, Kombucha Town, and Peterson Meats and Cheese. Chestnut roasting and tasting with Washington Chestnut Company

In the Healthy Connections Building classroom (attached to the Co-op Bakery):
6 – 10 p.m. Art Walk showing photography by Peter James
6 – 8 p.m. Music by Bailey Ann Martinet
8 – 10 p.m. Music by Robert T. McDonald III

In the Co-op Bakery Cafe:
8 to 10 p.m. Latte Art Throwdown featuring local baristas competing for top honors


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