Emigration Market

Challenge-A small mom and pop neighborhood food market served the upper east side of Salt Lake for over 70 years, had very loyal customers, offered variety, value and convenience, and was nestled on a quaint corner in a quiet family-oriented area. Goal: Upscale the store. Update the décor. Maintain the historic flavor and feel of the market.

Strategy-The Decorworx sales and design teams began to research the demographic of the Market’s ‘families.’ What was the fabric and pulse of the people of the Salt Lake east side? Their style? Their lifestyle? Their needs and wants… their passion? What would drive them back into their favorite neighborhood market, once renovated, and remain loyal customers? 

Purchased by Harmon’s Grocery Stores, but not wanting this store to be like their other ‘large’ stores, the Harmon’s executive team met with Decorworx to brand this corner market as their own. Everyone involved felt that the house-made pastries, desserts, gelatos, artisan breads, and even the dry, aged beef offerings-all of which are signature products for Harmon’s –were must-haves-staples, at this new market store. This specialized variety, complimented with the Harmon’s delicious delicatessen, meats, specialty cheeses, salad bar and fresh organic produce, as well as a custom interior décor package which included a personal store artist, and the strategy was set in motion…

Results-Starting at the top, new natural finish tongue and groove wood ceilings, which match beams from the original structure, and soft lighting provide warmth and contrast to the mostly high tech black glass and plastic refrigerated cases, chrome shelves, satin metal fixtures, and polished concrete floors elsewhere in the skillfully remodeled structure.

The main entrance, adjacent to the parking area south of the store, is just one of three; there are two others—one on the west (1700 East) and one on the north (1300 South) sides as well. The west side of the store is devoted to sunny open seating in the southwest corner along with deli, sandwich and coffee bar, and artisan bread and ‘prep’ areas to the north. Directly east is the salad bar, behind which fresh produce is available.

Along the north (1300 South) side are refrigerated cases containing fresh cheeses, dairy products and canned and bottled cold drinks, along with brand-new convenient restrooms and a back storage area. Frozen food cases border the east end. Turning the corner, towards the southeast end is the fresh meat and seafood area, where Assistant Meat Department Manager, Taurus, assured previewers, ‘If we don’t have it (meat or seafood), let us know and we’ll get it!’

To the west, along the south side check-out counters are located, above which several historic photographs of the original Emigration Market are displayed.

Harmon’s Emigration is by no means a ‘convenience store.’ Compact at 10,000 square feet, inventory and amenities are comprehensive; the result, after months of creative design followed by tear out and new construction is an innovative full-service small scale grocery store.

And, though much of it is new, the exterior retains the ‘feel’ of the original Emigration Market, enhanced with fresh landscaping, bike racks and pet areas. Tables have not yet been set up, but the north side (1300 South) exterior has been refurbished for outdoor seating, with a cleverly designed vegetative border separating it from the sidewalk.

"Grocery store of my dreams: Emigration Market by Harmons is open" - Salt Lake Magazine, September 14,2011