Effective Feb. 1st, there was a quiet hand off of the baton at Metro North Newspapers as Mikkel Kelly, Publisher/Editor of 7 area weekly newspapers, said his goodbyes to pursue other “pastures.” You will recall his op ed column of 2 weeks ago …
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Effective Feb. 1st, there was a quiet hand off of the baton at Metro North Newspapers as Mikkel Kelly, Publisher/Editor of 7 area weekly newspapers, said his goodbyes to pursue other “pastures.” You will recall his op ed column of 2 weeks ago when he mentioned earning his Master’s Degree in Business Administration at Regis University and his comment about “off to explore new directions.”
An 18-year journey
I’ve had the pleasure of knowing and working with Mikkel from the time Wilbur Flachman hired him at the Westminster Window in February, 1997. We covered a lot of “common ground” during the 18 years “he was at the newspaper.” Both while I was Westminster City Manager and later when he was my boss and I was a weekly op ed columnist, I always found Mikkel’s focus to be one of building up and supporting the community. Overnight, he stepped up to more responsibility and leadership demands with the untimely death of then Publisher Scott Perriman. Even as his newspaper career took on more diverse responsibilities and managing more weekly newspapers, he had the community’s best interest at heart and was always fair and open-minded.
Mikkel, thank you for your caring approach. Congratulations on you r18 years of steady, reliable, balanced journalism for our communities which you served so well. Best wishes on your “new directions” journey and congratulations to Glenn Wallace, who as Mikkel stated, “Takes over the hot seat.”
The changing grocery market trend
With the recent opening of the Walmart Neighborhood Market in Westminster at the southeast corner of 72nd Avenue and Federal Boulevard, it caused me to reflect on the changing grocery market “scene.” For example, I can recall the original supermarket which occupied this exact location when the Pomponio family built their shopping center on the southeast corner. Albertson’s, which later became Grocery Warehouse, was the key tenant in this center which served Westminster and Adams County in the 1960’s and beyond. More recently, the Hispanic grocery chain, Rancho Liborio Market, acquired the site and remodeled the shopping center with a focus on Hispanic groceries. Unfortunately, the grocery store did not succeed and sat vacant until Wal-Mart acquired it for their new concept of a neighborhood grocery store.
Other examples to cite
Looking elsewhere in the area, we have seen at least six Albertson’s supermarkets close in the past with 3 of them being shopping center anchors in Westminster — 72nd Avenue, 92nd Avenue and 120th Avenue all along Sheridan Boulevard. The latter site was divided into Sprouts, a niche grocery chain, and Staples, an office supplies chain. The 92nd Avenue site recently became H Mart, an Asian focused grocery store while the 72nd Avenue site is currently being remodeled without a grocery anchor. Then don’t forget the two Safeway Stores in the original Westminster Plaza site along with the one on 88th Avenue in Shaw Heights which all closed. The current Safeway Store site in the Plaza was previously a very popular King Sooper’s. Other Safeway locations were at 84th Avenue and Federal Boulevard, which then became the short-lived Mi Pueblo Market and 120th Avenue and Main Street in Broomfield which just closed in the last couple of months. Whole Foods just opened a new site in Westminster on 120th Avenue in Bradburn Village and closed their store at 92nd Avenue and Sheridan Boulevard which originally was an Alfafa’s grocery store.
The one dependable grocery
My point in mentioning all of these former national grocery chain stores is that the “grocery store market” continues to dramatically evolve and change. Obviously, the Super Wal-Marts, Costco’s, Sam’s Club and Super Target’s have had a major impact on who is “still standing” and who isn’t still open. Do you remember Piggly Wiggly, A&P, Kroger’s and the many independent neighborhood grocery stores? It is big business with fewer players today and probably fewer yet in the years to come. But let’s remember one thing in this whole grocery scene ... Valente’s Deli has seen them all come and go while remaining a dependable specialty grocery!
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