Lucky’s Market opens, offers quality local products

Walker Discoe

Fort Collins is home to a number of grocery stores that service a variety of needs, diets and price points.  Lucky’s Market joined the ever-competitive and growing grocery store lineup in Fort Collins by opening their doors March 6, at the intersection of Mulberry Street and College Avenue after a lengthy renovation of the former Sports Authority.

Fruits and vegetables section
The produce section in the newly opened Lucky’s Market in Fort Collins, Colorado. (Skyler Pradhan)

Founded in 2003 by two chefs from Boulder, the Lucky’s Market corporation currently operates 35 stores across 11 states, according to their website. Their website also lists some of their goals, including providing “quality products sold at affordable prices with genuine personal service,” describing themselves as “a specialty grocery store chain focused on natural, organic and locally-grown products.”

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Anyone offering affordable prices on groceries is making a bold claim, especially when affordable can mean so many different things to different people. Lucky’s Market prices are generally average but lean towards the pricier side for some products; just low enough to remind you that you’re not in a Whole Foods, but certainly not inside a King Soopers. Deli sandwiches start at $7.99, cheese ranges anywhere from a few dollars to near $20 and their ice cream section has a noticeable but not painful uptick in prices compared to other grocery stores.

“I think that we’re definitely accessible for campus and have great pricing to attract students,” said store director Tania Ellis. “We want to provide good food at a good price, and I think we’re doing that well.”

Lucky’s Market was meticulously planned, developed and placed to create a sense of community. Ellis said the store distinguishes itself from regular grab-and-go grocery stores by being a place where people can truly enjoy shopping for food.

“I’d like to think that the vibe is alluring,” Ellis said. “It’s a beautiful facility; we’ve got great light…but I don’t think the building was built for speed, more from a place of heart. When I was hired, the (store) map looked different, so I’d say it’s far from well planned, it’s been more of a conversation. So everyone wants it to be the best store that it can be.”

Lucky’s Market is open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.

Lucky’s Market emphasizes its available fruits and vegetables with a prominent produce section that has both organic and conventional produce. Ellis said the types of produce are grouped together so customers can make a choice on whether or not they want organic fruits and vegetables. 

“The flow in produce is new; we don’t have another store in the company that uses that kind of flow in produce,” Ellis said. “I was passionate about putting all the apples with the apples, all the citrus with the citrus and having the customer be able to make the choice between conventional produce and organic produce in that category.”

Lucky’s Market also works to find distributors, manufacturers and farmers local or near the Fort Collins area.

“Right now, obviously being the middle of the winter there’s not a ton of local available,” said Chris Henning, produce manager at Lucky’s Market. “Sourcing (local) is definitely an advantage because it reduces our carbon footprint … I want to have a familiarity in our store and in our produce department where a customer can come in where they might only be shopping at the farmers market two days a week because those are the only days that they’re open. I want to be able to kind of be their farmer’s market seven days a week.” 

For those in the area, or students who want a lunch or dinner option with a wide variety, Lucky’s Market is open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.

Walker Discoe can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @wdiscoe.

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