Brown & Cole confirm store plans
The Brown & Cole Stores grocery chain confirmed last week that they will operate the store for which a lease has been taken out in the vacant grocery building on the north end of the Birch Bay Square mall.
“We’re at the permitting process stage now, and want to open as soon as we can,” said corporate spokesperson Sue Cole. “We’ve done extensive surveying of people in the area to find out what they want and will be offering some things that are new for stores on the west coast.”
Cole added that the new store will have a different name and format, and will not be run as either a Cost Cutter or a Food Pavilion. “People will see some new things here. Our research shows that there’s a real potential for this to work in that area,” Cole said, adding that many of the features they plan to include are found primarily on the east coast but did not elaborate.
The business investment firm of Hancock Park Associates of Los Angeles recently acquired Brown & Cole and signed a long-term lease on the Birch Bay Square building. Cole said that her company will act for Hancock at the local level. Brown & Cole is the state’s oldest grocery chain, founded in 1909, and currently operates the Cost Cutter store at Blaine’s International Mall.
Birch Bay Square project site manager Kevin Burke said that the Starbucks outlet at the mall will be opening “on the same time frame as the grocery store. They may chose to go sooner, but that’s up to them,” Burke said.