Heritage to take over Foodland coffee shop

Anna Olivares serves up a cold coffee drink on a hot day at Foodland IGA on Thursday. Heritage Coffee will take over the coffee counter in Foodland in about six weeks.

The coffee shop inside the Foodland IGA grocery store downtown will expand into a full-service Heritage Coffee Roasting Co. location in the next two months, Heritage president Grady Saunders said.

The grocery store, which recently changed hands and names, is currently putting in a True North Federal Credit Union branch, Foodland assistant manager Kelly Crow said. When construction crews are finished with the credit union, they’ll begin work on the new cafe, she said. The shop should be open in 60 days at the latest, Saunders said.

The coffee shop will be expanded to about 700 square feet, Saunders said. Crow said the current cafe, plus the area that now holds quick lunch items, will be remodeled to include a sit-down area to provide a better “coffee shop experience,” Crow said. A separate entrance for the cafe will be installed on the building’s north side. This way, the Heritage shop can open earlier than the rest of the Foodland store, she said.

Crow said construction on the new Heritage location was scheduled to begin months ago but, now that the process has started, everything will move quickly. Washington state-based Foodland owner Tyler Myers “always intended on making a coffee shop when he bought the store and looked at remodeling,” she said. With Heritage in charge, “they’re going to be able to offer a lot more than we’ve been able to offer.”

The current coffee shop has been operating in the grocery store for more than a decade. The four current employees are being given a chance to work in the new shop, Saunders said. Some are staying, some are not. Crow said the coffee staff will expand to six people once the Heritage shop opens. With more people, the shop will be able to stay open longer each day. She said the Heritage Coffee Co. shop is “not going to be that much different” from the shop that exists now.

Saunders said Foodland approached him with the idea of expanding the pre-existing coffee shop.

“We didn’t solicit the situation, but given the choice, we said ‘yes,’” he said.

This will be locally-owned Heritage Coffee Co.’s eighth location in town, he said. Customers will be able to use slide cards and frequent buyer cards at the new location.

Contact reporter Katie Moritz at (907)523-2294, or at katherine.moritz@juneauempire.com.

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