No generation gap at new market
By Robin Intemann
Bread & Butter Neighborhood Market is as much about making connections as it is groceries. Consider owners Aubrey Day and Stacy Poore.
At first glance the partnership might seem unlikely. By her own admission, Poore said she’s old enough to be Day’s mother. “She’s 30-something,” Poore said, “and, well, I’m … not. We see this as a real positive.”
Their business relationship has developed into a friendship that transcends age differences. It’s based on bringing people together through Bread & Butter, slated to open in early June at 602 S. Nevada Ave.
“We’re both big believers that community happens around food,” Poore said.
A mutual friend who knew about their shared interest in opening a neighborhood grocery store introduced them to one another.
“So our friend connected us and we decided it would be a much better venture if we could do this together,” Poore added.
The idea for a market near downtown is nothing new. Efforts in the past proved unsuccessful. However, Poore said, “The timing hasn’t always been as bright as it is today” for such a venture. More people are choosing to live downtown. The market is also in close proximity to the Mill Street and Hillside neighborhoods. It doesn’t hurt, she said, that an estimated 20,000 cars that travel daily between work and home on South Nevada past the store. “And that’s a low estimate. We’re in a pretty visible spot.”
Day added, “For a lot of people it won’t be out of the way.” She likens the concept to the corner markets in larger cities. “A lot of it is about adopting a lifestyle, so it may take some time for people to get used to it.”
Both Day and Poore have some retail experience, but that hasn’t been the focus of their careers, until now. Day, the mother of a toddler, grew up in Colorado Springs. Her background has involved food systems and health-related work throughout the community, including the YMCA and currently El Paso County Health.
“Aubrey is much more adept at technology, social media that type of thing,” Poore said. “She’s more creative in an artistic sense. I consider myself creative in a problem-solving sense. I think that combination is really special. We both share a passion for providing people with excellent service.”
Poore’s background includes teaching and leadership roles in several area nonprofit organizations. For the last seven years she was at Care and Share Food Bank for Southern Colorado; first as chief development office and more recently as chief operating officer.
“You don’t move 25 million pounds of food without some logistical and tactical skills. I definitely bring that to the table,” she said.
Along with groceries, the 2,000-square foot market also will sell fresh locally-grown flowers, prepared foods and will include an 800-square foot liquor store featuring wines by local winemakers and spirits by local distillers. The building’s exterior will include a mural by area artist Laura DePasquale and other work by Concrete Couch.
The project’s initial steps began about three years ago. They asked a lot of questions of a lot of different people, Poore said, by hosting a lot of living room focus groups and reaching out to a lot of people in the community. “It’s very freeing not to have to know everything. I’m a lot closer to that 60-year-end than the 35-year-old end.”
Again, Day and Poore see this as an advantage. “Stacy may have a little different perspective on things only because she has more work and life experience.”
Poore added, “We don’t both have to do everything. I don’t have to know how to do everything, so I’m not intimidated by Aubrey’s generation or her age.”
In addition to the two owners, who will serve as managers, plans are to hire as many as 10 employees. Day and Poore agree they envision customers and employees representing multiple generations.
“The convenience factor is important, but we also want to get to know our customers,” Day said. “We recognize we’re more than just a place to get groceries. We’re about bringing people together, so we’re excited about the tertiary benefits.”