The new Family Fare in Dickinson's West Ridge development has a lot of bells and whistles, and not just the city's first Starbucks coffee bar welcoming shoppers within their first few steps into the grocery store.
The sprawling 51,000-square-foot store, which celebrates its official opening Sunday, boasts an on-site fueling station; a 48-seat cafe with a fresh-squeezed orange juice station; a combination salad, fruit and soup bar; a 5,400-square-foot liquor store; and a made-to-order panini and sub station -- and a quality and variety of perishable items, says area director Chuck Donohoo, that is "second to nobody."
"It's the most modern store in this area," he said Wednesday as crew members from both the store and its parent company, SpartanNash, worked to prepare the supermarket ahead of its weekend opening.
The store employs 157 associates, by Donohoo's count, who trained at existing stores ahead of the new location's opening. It created an estimated 100 new jobs for the area.
Donohoo, who has worked for SpartanNash for close to 20 years, came to Dickinson five months ago from West Virginia to oversee a project already in progress, "just as they were putting the walls up," he said.
In late 2013, SpartanNash announced plans to invest more than $20 million in its Dickinson and Fargo markets, remodeling what was then Dan's Supermarket in Dickinson under the EconoFoods banner and building a new market in Roers' West Ridge development.
It's the latest addition to the growing subdivision, which now boasts a Wells Fargo bank, Menards, two hotels, the recently opened Buffalo Wild Wings and a nearly completed storefront complex. The partnership with Roers was "a good move," said SpartanNash senior director of retail Chris Williams.
"It's gonna be a hoppin' area here," he said, adding that the new grocery store is "definitely what Dickinson deserves."
The latest Family Fare joins two smaller -- by at least 20,000 square feet -- long-standing locations in north and south Dickinson. Donohoo "re-grand opened" the north store when it underwent its latest transformation from EconoFoods to the Family Fare brand and oversaw the location until the new store came on site.
Now, as director of all three Dickinson Family Fares, Donohoo said it's the most versatile market he's ever worked in.
"You have people coming in from Texas, you have people coming in from Florida, you have people coming in from North Carolina, you have them from Michigan," he said. "And the challenge to us, which I think that we've risen up and answered, is the fact that they just eat all types of different foods."
Donohoo and his colleagues like to stress the store's perishable offerings: the meats and cheeses, the breads, the vegetables and fruits. To keep up with the "growing and growing and growing" demand for organic, the store carries 80-plus organic items, said Brian LaMarche, who oversees produce and floral for SpartanNash.
The store will also have a distinctly Dickinson flare, from the murals of old Dickinson decorating its walls to the foods -- kolaches, knoephla soup and turkey tenders -- it sells on its floor. Donohoo said the new Family Fare "answers the needs of Dickinson" with its selection of foods unique to the area.
"By having a diverse market, we have to have a diverse offering," he said, calling the location "truly a hometown store."