There’s a new market in town, and it’s got a little something of everything. Choice Market, the Denver-based convenience store brand, opened its third location on East Colfax Avenue in mid-July. And while customers will find the same 2,000 or so locally focused offerings they’ve grown to love at the chain’s North Broadway and Osage Street outposts—nourishing made-to-order meals, a craft beer selection, organic pantry essentials, and Colorado-grown proteins, fruits, and vegetables—the new flagship location is the first to feature gas pumps, charging stations for electric vehicles, an expanded grocery selection, and a new app.
“It’s more of a residential neighborhood, so we do have more grocery offerings,” says owner Mike Fogarty. “And we have some things around the automotive area that we didn’t quite have before.” When Fogarty says grocery, he means everything from Method Roasters Coffee and PB Love Co nut butters to the Real Dill pickles and Pasta Jay’s jarred pasta sauces; gas station staples like windshield washer fluid, motor oil, and Armor All products are also on hand. The 2,600-square-foot East Colfax store wants to check off even more of your shopping list with its fresh and canned seafood (think: jumbo lump crab meat, shrimp, smoked salmon, and tilapia), local meats (River Bear American Meats bacon and ground beef or Niman Ranch cold cuts, for example), and freezer items (Cappello’s grain-free pizzas and Boulder-based Sisters’ Pantry pork dumplings).
Choice Market launches its new e-commerce website and mobile app on September 18, which will allow customers to order products—even alcohol—for same-day, contactless pick-up or delivery; orders will be fulfilled by Choice Market staff via electric bikes and vehicles charged at the East Colfax location. The app lets customers shop by recipe or dietary lifestyle. “You could pick a recipe, hit a button, and add what you need to the cart to make that recipe. There are a lot of cool features we’re integrating into the platform,” Fogarty says. Rewards are available for frequent shoppers, too, including food and drinks for purchase points earned and free coffee on your birthday.
In addition to the app and expanded grocery offerings, Choice recently debuted a new take-out menu at the East Colfax and North Broadway locations. Look for vegan and gluten-free options such as the Impossiball Bowl with chile-garlic zucchini noodles, meatless meatballs, cherry tomato sauce, and basil-almond ricotta; steak kabobs with Colorado corn and quinoa; and a Palisade peach smoothie made with coconut yogurt, mangos, basil from Gotham Greens, and Boulder-based Upstart Kombucha.
Fogarty says COVID-19 hasn’t changed Choice’s business model very much. He was able to keep all employees on payroll and only experienced a slight decline in sales. “We have been doing delivery since day one, so for us, it was a continuation of our existing business,” Fogarty says. “We definitely made some changes on the product selection, brought in some more bulk stuff, and some home and health [items]. But in general, I would say we were pretty well positioned.”
An even larger Golden Triangle location is scheduled to open in December with a full fast-casual cafe inside, and early next year, Choice will launch fully automated stores inside shipping containers that can be placed anywhere, Fogarty says. But the growth doesn’t stop there: Choice plans to open the company’s first out-of-state location and at least four more outposts in the metro area over the next two years.
2200 E. Colfax Ave.