Coeur d’Alene natural foods and health store Pilgrim’s Market has completed a $300,000 renovation of a 2,000-square-foot commissary kitchen and bakery, says owner Joe Hamilton.
The market, located in about 25,000 square feet of retail space at 1316 N. Fourth, currently employs 70 people, Hamilton says. It’s open every day from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
The new bakery includes an authentic hearth oven that was made in France, Hamilton says. The oven has stones instead of racks inside, he says, and bread is baked on the stones.
“We also just recently opened a hot bar, a buffet-style bar, in the deli,” he says. “We outgrew the kitchen in our deli as well as the bakery, so we had to build a larger one.”
Ginno Construction Co., of Spokane Valley, was the contractor on the renovation project, Hamilton says, which began in May and wrapped up in August.
Hamilton says he next wants to expand the market’s wholesale department.
“We’re wholesaling our bakery items, so that’s it on the immediate horizon,” he say, although he adds that he’s anticipating some renovations in the market’s produce and deli departments within the next year as well.
Hamilton purchased the market in 1999, and at that time it was located in a 1,200 square foot space across the street from its current site and had only two employees, he says.
“When we started out, we had produce, groceries, supplements, and bulk foods. Now we have all of that plus beer, wine, a deli, a meat department, and the bakery,” he says.
The store moved to its current location in 2000, Hamilton says, where it originally occupied about 8,000 square feet. Three years later, the 17,000-square-foot space next to it became available, and Pilgrim’s leased that as well.
“We actually were able to punch a hole between the two walls and customers walk between the two buildings and don’t know they’re leaving one building and entering the other,” he says.
Pilgrim’s also recently was named the Retailer of the Year in the category of innovation by Natural Foods Merchandiser, Natural Foods Expo organizers, and New Hope Media during an event in Baltimore called the Natural Foods Expo East.
“We won that award largely because of our efforts with the wellness clinic and our education center,” he says.
Pilgrim’s Wellness Clinic, which opened in 2009, is a separate business also owned by Hamilton that operates within the store. It has a naturopathic doctor, an osteopathic doctor, and a registered dietician, and a few other alternative health care providers.
“Together they provide integrative natural health care, and because the clinic is in the natural food store, there’s a real synergy there,” Hamilton says.
Subscribe today to our free E-Newsletters!SUBSCRIBE