New Eagle City Market compiles positive comments, sales tax numbers | VailDaily.com

New Eagle City Market compiles positive comments, sales tax numbers

EAGLE — Edith Taylor's shopping cart contained some fresh produce, toiletry items and a loaf of Bavarian Bakery Farmer's Rye Bread as she negotiated the aisles of the Eagle City Market this past week.

She was particularly excited about the bread. "This was the first time I have seen this. It has a hard crust, so I think it will make good toast," Taylor said.

It's been four months since the Eagle City Market celebrated its grand re-opening and debuted its 16,000-square-foot addition. Both customer comments and sales tax figures have been strongly positive.

Sales tax jump

The town of Eagle is prohibited from reporting sales tax numbers from individual businesses and instead releases figures from various categories. One of those categories is food sales, and obviously City Market numbers comprise a large portion of the category total.

So far this year, the food sales category has shown a 58 percent increase compared to 2016 figures.

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Eagle Town Clerk Jenny Rakow reported that food sales numbers for the first quarter, the most recent report available to the town, show $262,185 in food sales tax collected between January and March 2017. That compares to $165,089 during the same period of 2016.

That's a trend Eagle officials hope continues, especially because food sales tax comprises close to 40 percent of Eagle's annual sales tax collections.

City Market manager Dave Betts has noticed the uptick in business at the store, and he pledged his team would work hard to keep those customers shopping in Eagle.

"It's really quite simple: We want to show people of this valley that we are committed to having the products they want, when they want them and how they want them," Betts said.

Shopper Margaret Wolinsky, of Gypsum, was picking out radishes while her husband dropped a package of bing cherries in the cart during a shopping trip on Thursday.

"The produce department is really wonderful. It is huge and everything is fresh," she said.

That's the goal, Betts said.

"We strive every day to deliver on freshness," he said.

Betts said that emphasis extends beyond the store's produce department.

"A great example of this is in our dairy department. Many shoppers don't even notice, but we mark our gallon milks down 10 days out to ensure people are buying the very freshest milk we can offer. I am unaware of any competitor out there that does this," Betts said. "If something comes in, for instance, in our meat department that we wouldn't put on our family's table, we simply don't put it out or we mark it down immediately, no matter the 'sell by' date on the package. We also freeze those products and provide them, at no cost, to our local food bank."

Expanded options

City Market's floor space expansion meant more products are available to downvalley shoppers. Wolinsky complimented the bulk food and sushi station additions. Shopper Joanne Cermak, of Eagle, enjoys shopping the homeopathic and natural products area.

"The new Starbucks will be nice when we can actually sit outside," Cermak added.

Customer Stacia Nusbaum, of Eagle, has only lived in town for the past year, so she noted she can't really compare the new store to the former operation.

"I think they did a great job with the addition and you can tell it was sorely needed," she said. "Plus the people who work here are great. The staff here really tries hard."

"We don't ever forget to be friendly," Betts said. "I coach daily on the importance of making our store feel like a home and every shopper should feel like a guest in it. I can tell you that no matter how busy we get, we want customers to feel special and appreciated.

"I read each and every comment and absolutely love to share the 'highly satisfied' results in the 'friendly' and 'fresh' categories with our entire team," Betts said.

He hopes customers will continue to respond to those receipt surveys with their positive comments.

What's up next

Betts said that final landscaping is under way and the City Market garden center is open for the summer. Beyond that, he believes customers are getting used to the new store layout. That's taken a bit of work, noted Taylor.

"There are so many new choices, but I do get lost in here sometimes," she said.