Business Happenings - September 2002
Boomer's Market Evolves
in Response to Community
by Charlotte Mates
Market set out several months ago to evolve in direct response
to the community needs, a commitment made early this year
by storeowner Larry Robuck. And according to Vice President of Marketing
Jeanne von Zastrow, thats exactly what happens day by day.
Jeanne reveals an impressive public relations scorecard that includes
local sports sponsorship, school donations, and support for the
Moab Music Festival and this years KZMU Lip Sync contest.
Other programs sponsored by Boomers Market include the Youth
Garden Project, Utah Foster Families, Utah Safety Week, Channel
6 coverage of Grand County Football and the July Fourth celebration.
Were proud to be involved with and making our community
a better place for everyone locals and tourists alike,
Boomers opened in the former and historic Millers Shopping
Center on the southerly end of Moabs Main Street. The former
Millers Department store lay vacant for many months before
rumors began that a new grocery store would open there. Those rumors
gained credence when Moab Outdoors announced it would close its
doors after two generations in Moab.
The long-anticipated Grand Opening was nothing less than a community
festival; the Moab mantra became, How do you like Boomers?
I like the Customer in Training carts. As inane as that
may sound, there is more than one practical reason for this: The
obvious one would be the outing quality shopping takes
on when a three-foot tall 3-year-old can keep up with a parent and
help stock the cupboards and fridge at home. But what got me was
the fact that both of our carts fit through the isles without consequence.
The heart of a grocery store, however, is the freshness and availability
of food products that customers want. Fresh meat is cut and ground
daily, the produce section opens wide and colorful and fragrant
at the store entrance, European cheeses and specialty meats are
available, as well as the Western Family and Cream O Weber brands.
Store Manager Les Edwards is developing some private label products
featuring the Boomer logo, as well.
While the bakery and homemade donuts were to be the star attraction,
Jeanne says the salsa, made fresh daily in the produce department,
is phenomenally popular. And the artichoke jalapeno dip sells hundreds
of pounds per week.
Jeanne said she tries to make it known that customers can request
brands and in some cases hard to find items. Les has ordered cases
of such things, including specialty olives from California, Thai
and Indian products and organic foods, and is willing to keep them
stocked. Market surveys are readily available in the store for such
requests, as well as to invite comments about what works, and what
doesnt work at the store.
We have a 13-member community board that meets every two months
and we just go around the room and listen to suggestions,
Jeanne said. Board members will rotate as time goes on, but
we have a wide representation of the community on the board.
Some suggestions implemented to date include the addition of benches
and picnic tables outside, improvements on scanning accuracy and
customer viewing of scanners, customer service and a pro-active
approach to customer service.
We dont ask if a customer wants us to help with their
groceries, she said, we tell them wed like to
Those who do fill out a survey are entered into a monthly drawing;
the winner receives a gift certificate of $15. And Jeanne said she
responds to each and every survey personally.
Every customer who enters a survey is called and thanked,
she said, and the issues raised are discussed more in detail.
Jeanne said Boomers has been successful in hiring outstanding
local talent to staff the store, most of who worked diligently
for many weeks in advance of the opening to set up shop.
Larry Robuck is a native of Nucla, Colorado who has been in the
grocery business all of his life. Project developer Mike Lawler
was Larrys partner in the conception and fruition of Boomers.
They borrowed the name Boomers in recognition
of the Mountain Boomer Lizard, hence the lizard logo at the local
Boomers has even had a customized Boomers Lizard
costume created to use for local sports and other events which we
will be sponsoring, Jeanne said.
Boomers Market is located in what is now known as The Kane
Creek Shopping Center. It was remodeled to maintain an old
west character, Jeanne said, and the developers went to great
lengths to preserve the red sandstone face of the building, cut
in the 1950s by Jimmy Walker in an area by the Sand Flats Road.
Jimmy brought the cut stone down one load at a time to Moab in a
1954 Jeep. Ralph Miller, the former owner of the shopping center,
said he is pleased with how the entrance looks.
Jeanne said that both Larry and Mike are long-time, frequent visitors
to Moab who made a commitment to this community with their project.
Were independent-minded and our store will evolve in
direct response to the community needs, Larry said. We
are committed to providing the people in Moab with a customer service-oriented
and price competitive shopping experience.
Boomer's Market is located at 702 South Main Street. They may be
reached at 259-1105.