Do you remember the old City Market store located at 1st and Orchard in Grand Junction? It's been gone a while, but the building is still there. Do you recall how awesome it was? Years later, and several new huge stores later, the "little" City Market may be remembered as the best store in the history of Grand Junction.

This particular City Market, which the company referred to as store #9, was running back when I entered the picture in 1970. It was still chugging along when I was well into my 30's, if not into my 40's.

What was so great about it? The location, for starters. I lived just up the hill. Looking back, I don't recall ever riding to the grocery store in a car. It was always a few hundred feet away. Our neighbors, including the Mannings, would simply walk to the store. If you had a huge load of groceries, you pushed the cart to your house, and then returned it to the store.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but despite the fact this store was a fraction of the size of the other City Markets, I seem to recall it having more stuff. It certainly carried as much as the larger stores.

Do you remember the buzz around town when this store "expanded" by adding the entrance on the north side? This was a big deal in Grand Junction back in the early 1980's.

Waylon Jordan

How about when they added a salad bar? Holy crud! That was news. What about the opening of the new pharmacy? Don't get me started.

Don't hold me to this, but according to my highly-unreliable memory, this was the first store in town to feature an "Express Lane." Grand Junction knew it had hit the big time when they opened that thing.

Here we go, my top five reasons why this was the best grocery store in Grand Junction history:

  • Location, location, location
  • It had everything any other store had, just in less space
  • A large segment of the population could walk to the store
  • It always kept up with the times (adding a salad bar, pharmacy, etc)
  • Put simply, it was convenient in every way.

There was, of course, the never-ending problem involving the proximity of the Junior High next door. As I recall, students weren't allowed in the store during school hours. How many times did you see Si Grantham escorting students out the door?

This location really made the most out of finite space. Ultimately, they opened the video department in the hallway leading to the north exit. It worked.

This really does bring up a valid question - If this store served the public as well as it did, is it really necessary to have these giant super-stores requiring you to park a quarter-mile away?

Obviously, competition and larger stores took their toll. If they hadn't, this store at 1st and Orchard would have remained open. Now, we have a much larger City Market located just 12 blocks away. Things change, I guess.

It's not entirely clear why I suddenly took off on this tangent. My course takes me past this old store on a daily basis. Until today I hadn't really stopped to think about the old store. Fortunately, the building still stands and a business currently operates from the location.

Here's to you, City Market #9. You sure were handy. During my late teenage years, when you went to operating 24 hours a day, you came in really handy. Thirty years later, I'm working just down the road from you. It sure would be nice to hop in the car and drive a total of five blocks to the friendly neighborhood store.

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