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New Sweetbay opens Saturday in Cape’s downtown

By Staff | Aug 28, 2010

Sweetbay will open its first green store in Southwest Florida on Cape Coral Parkway this morning.
Sweetbay spokesperson Nicole Lebeau said the first green store was opened last November in Tampa.
She said Sweetbay’s commitment is all about the people, planet and product, which means making that commitment at every level possible.
The old Sweetbay location opened in 2005 on Leonard Street.
“This new location is a great location for us, and we are excited to continue to make an investment in Cape Coral,” she said. “The new store is a much bigger store in a great location that will allow us to continue to serve the Cape Coral community.”
Community Redevelopment Agency Public Relations Manager Helen Ramey said that Sweetbay is currently seeking an alternate user for their soon-to-be-former store.
“The details have not been revealed, but they are seeking a tenant that will complement the stores in the vicinity,” Ramey said.
Design Project Manager for Sweetbay Chastity Scoggins provided a tour Friday morning to explain the “green” theme Sweetbay has provided for Cape Coral residents.
She said during the construction process they maintained 75 percent of the walls, roof and floors. Great indoor air quality was also kept during the construction due to smoking being prohibited in the building.
The landscape in the parking lot also carries on the green theme with reclaimed water and drought-tolerant plants. Bike parking is also provided near the entrance and preferred parking is available for low-emission vehicles.
The new building, Scoggins said, filters in 30 percent of the outside air, circulating more fresh air within the building.
When entering the store, there is carpet to help take dirt off the bottom of individuals’ shoes to help keep the store clean, she said.
Another new feature entails all beer and dairy products enclosed behind cooler doors to conserve an additional 50 percent of energy, along with keeping the section at regular temperatures.
All of the coolers are also motion controlled with LED lights to save money.
Scoggins said they also are pushing reusable bags to all of their customers, with the hope of one day of having a system that can track when a customer uses their bags.
In the meat section of Sweetbay, night shields were installed in the cold cases to keep the energy levels down, along with keeping the products fresh, Scoggins said. The night shields are pulled down after hours, along with the lights being turned off in the cases to preserve energy.
Store Manager Ray Brose said they had between 60-65 employees at the old store. With the new 36,000-square-foot facility, he said they were able to hire 15 additional employees.
He said the new building appears to be much larger than the old one because they have cut down on space in the back room, so they could expand aisles and the meat, deli, seafood, produce and bakery sections.
Sweetbay uses an ordering system that tracks what is sold in the store, Brose said, which tracks what you need and when you will need it by. He said the system allows them to keep more items on the floor, which keeps less in the stock room.
They also utilize local produce to ensure the freshest product for the customer, Scoggins said.
Another component that Brose is excited about is the lock system for the shopping carts. He said the carts will lock once they pass the perimeter line, which is a “huge deal.”
Some of the new improvements inside the store for customers entail all organic and natural foods having the same location in the same aisle as regular brands, including produce and meat.
The expanded square footage in the meat department provided a butcher shop for the customers, which provides them with the opportunity to have custom cuts done.
The registers are brand new, Brose said, which will make the check out process faster and more efficient due to the new laser technology.
“Our goal is not to have more than two people in line at a time,” he said.
The customer service area also has a few improvements for customers with two fully functional registers. Brose said it provides Sweetbay with the opportunity to service customers who have only one or two items faster.
Sweetbay has also added 10,000 households to its flyer list, making it a grand total of 25,00 households who will receive their flyers. He said the addition was made to ensure that anyone who considers shopping here will get the flyer.
Lebeau said Sweetbay has made a commitment in providing everyday low prices for their customers, which means keeping prices low for an extended amount of time.
She said when you have a high, low prices it means that the store will raise prices one day and then lower them the next day.
The new Sweetbay location also has a 12,000-square-foot liquor store.
“It’s your one-stop type of party shop,” Brose said.
Those who purchase either six bottles of wine or six bottles of liquor will receive 10 percent off their purchase, he said.
“They can be any size, any variety and it includes the mini’s,” Brose said.
Sweetbay will apply for LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Designs) status, which was created by the U.S. Green Building Council. The certification system measures energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emission reductions, improved indoor environment quality and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts.
“Sweetbay is taking a fresh approach,” Ramey said. “Their commitment to fresh is undeniable; it is in their produce, meat, seafood and even in their approach to customer service — they want to waste less and recycle more.”
The store will open Saturday at 7 a.m.