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New look for Cub Foods

Regular shoppers at Cub Foods in Baxter and Brainerd have probably noticed significant changes at the stores recently. The remodeling at the stores was necessary to keep up with the changing habits of shoppers, S & R Quisberg, Inc., President...

The newly redesigned exterior of the Cub Foods in Baxter features gray tones and stonework. (Brainerd Dispatch/Steve Kohls) Video and Gallery
The newly redesigned exterior of the Cub Foods in Baxter features gray tones and stonework. (Brainerd Dispatch/Steve Kohls) Video and Gallery

Regular shoppers at Cub Foods in Baxter and Brainerd have probably noticed significant changes at the stores recently.

The remodeling at the stores was necessary to keep up with the changing habits of shoppers, S & R Quisberg, Inc., President Chris Quisberg said. S & R Quisberg owns the Brainerd and Baxter stores, along with a Cub Foods in Alexandria and a Supervalu in Pequot Lakes.

The remodel projects were planned in October 2015 and construction started in February, Quisberg said. The goal was to be completed by fishing opener in May, he said, which they missed. Instead, they completed the project on May 23, before Memorial Day, which was the other completion date goal.

A lot of what customers see at the Baxter store has changed, Quisberg said. The front facade of the building was painted in new colors and stone columns were added. The company did a similar look at the Alexandria store, he said, and they liked it but wanted to tweak it for Baxter.

The entrance was moved in order to accommodate a new layout in the store, Quisberg said. Windows were added to the north and south side of the building, he said, which brings in more natural light and makes the store seem larger. The newer refrigeration cases in the store were retrofitted with new LED lighting while the older cases were replaced, he said.

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The project included a full store reset, Quisberg said. This means every item in the store was touched and moved and the shelves were cleaned, he said. It's been years since the store has done a reset, he said, so it was overdue.

"Customer shopping habits have changed," Quisberg said. "We've had new things come to the grocery stores."

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"Customer shopping habits have changed. We've had new things come to the grocery stores." - Chris Quisberg, S & R Quisberg, Inc., President

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The project also included:

  • A new layout in the produce section.
  • Removing the Wall of Values at the entrance to the store.
  • New flooring.
  • Adding a new service case for seafood.
  • Relocating the floral department.
  • New layouts and fixtures for the bakery, deli and meat departments, along with new equipment.
  • A new deli cheese case.
  • Replacing the roof.
  • Adding a seasonal merchandise section at the front of the store near the registers.
  • Remodeling the bathrooms.
  • New lighting throughout the store.

Quite a few things also happened behind the scenes, Quisberg said. Overall, the store became much more energy efficient by making changes to the coolers and refrigeration cases, he said.
"We've tried to go as green as we could with the facility that we have," Store Director Bryan Jelinski said.

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"We've tried to go as green as we could with the facility that we have." - Store Director Bryan Jelinski

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The store is still working on changes to the pharmacy and Convenient Care section, which included adding a consultation room to the pharmacy and a more private waiting area for the Convenient Care, Quisberg said.

The majority of contractors involved in the project were local, S & R Quisberg General Manager Jeff Marchand said. The store was built and opened in 1991 as a County Market, he said, and converted to a Cub Foods in 1999. There have been minor tweaks since then, he said, but this is the first major overhaul the store has seen. Quisberg said the total cost of the remodel was "millions of dollars," but declined to give a more exact figure.

The store's employees didn't like working there during the remodel, Quisberg said, but now that it's complete, "they love it." They were able to provide input on how to set up the various departments, he said, which the company valued. There are about 235 employees between the two stores.

Cub Foods has been looking for a more upscale look in recent years, Quisberg said, which is exactly what they wanted at the Baxter store. More natural earth tones and natural light provide a more upscale feel to the shopping experience, he said.

The Brainerd Cub Foods also had a facelift, Jelinski said. The store has been open for 14 years, he said, and hadn't had a major reset during that time. The store will add a Convenient Care clinic, which is opening in January 2017. The break room and bathrooms were also redone, along with a full store reset to mimic the Baxter store, he said.

"Families change, buying habits change and new items come in," Jelinski said. "We just really needed to give ourselves a refresh."

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"Families change, buying habits change and new items come in. We just really needed to give ourselves a refresh." - Store Director Bryan Jelinski

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It's important to have a similar look between the Brainerd and Baxter stores, Quisberg said, because there are some shoppers who shop at both stores. They're different stores with different dimensions, he said, but customers should feel comfortable at either store.

 

SPENSER BICKETT may be reached at 218-855-5859 or spenser.bickett@brainerddispatch.com . Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/spenserbickett .

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