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Best Mid-Budget Remodel
Winner: Dave’s Food Mart, Norwalk, Ohio
Designer: All Things Restaurant Inc.
Despite several setbacks in starting its remodel, a new and improved Dave’s Food Mart was underway by spring 2014, with the added challenge of cleaning up its day-to-day drive-thru operations without closing, even for an hour. The main concepts behind the remodel were to offer more beer selection than a few doors’ worth and add more parking.
To achieve this, the retailer bought the empty duplex behind its building and made that a parking lot mainly for employees and more space for deliveries. Then, it moved the 8-foot by 20-foot storage walk-in to the rear of the building in order to add a 12-foot by 28-foot walk-in to be the beer cave. Additionally, an 8-foot by 10-foot walk-in freezer was added.
Finally, the shelving and doors of the original 16-door walk-in were replaced with LED lighting, giving it new life and eliminating 13 standalone “pop” coolers.
According to the retailer, the remodel now enables Dave’s Food Mart to utilize “the merchandising doors in the drive-thru and really opens it up and gives us more control on what we offer ‘our’ customers, not what the pop companies tell us to offer.”
Today, Dave’s offers more than 300 different packages of beer; has had the front of the building re-sided; and upgraded its surveillance system on a budget of $250,000. The retailer was able to make these changes happen with a few cutbacks. And by adding a beer cave, its deli — the single store’s biggest asset — has increased sales without making any changes to it.
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