The former JCPenney, at about 34,000 square feet, will give the Burtons a much bigger space for their Grocery Outlet — about 3,000 square feet of extra sales space and even more storage space. Bennett also said banners announcing the new Grocery Outlet should go up in the next couple of weeks as well as a new sign on Garden Valley Boulevard promoting the Grocery Outlet and other stores in the shopping center, including Michaels, Ross Dress For Less and Dollar Tree. That will allow the couple to store more goods, which means more savings for customers and more opportunities for community service work, Stephen Burton said.
The JCPenney store closed in mid-October after being in business at the same location for more than 30 years. It has sat vacant in the Garden Valley Shopping Center, located at 780 NW Garden Valley Blvd., ever since. “We are really focused on the positives of this move,” Burton said. “In addition to being a brand new build with all the aesthetics of a new store and greatly improved shopping experience for both space and flow, the new building will also allow us to become a stronger community partner and reach even more families in need.”
Connie Bennett, who manages the Garden Valley Shopping Center for Silva Management Co. in Eugene, said turning the former JCPenney, which featured clothing, home décor, bedding and the like into a grocery market with large sections of cold food storage is a big job, and work on it is expected to begin this month. The move will give the Burtons and their new grocery outlet more of everything, Stephen Burton said — more customer parking, more sales and storage space, and with that extra storage space, more opportunities for community service work.
A LONG HISTORYThe Harvard Avenue Grocery Outlet store has had a couple of different owners the last few years. In late 2017, Tom Leavitt retired and Mindi and Ken Admire took over as the new store owners. Leavitt had owned the store with his wife, Ronda Leavitt, since it first opened in 1975. Back then, it was called Canned Foods and was located where Oregon Tool & Supply now stands at 276 SE Stephens St. “The equipment upgrades, increased size of our sales floor and increase to our storage will put us in a great position for the next steps in our community outreach,” Stephen Burton said. “It is currently in the development phase, but a hint to our plans is being able to send as many food-insecure students as possible home for the weekend with enough food so they can concentrate without the distraction of an empty belly. “
More recently, Grocery Outlet donated pet food to Saving Grace Pet Adoption Center to help feed animals displaced by the Jack Fire. In the 10 months or so the Burtons have owned the store, they have already been involved in several charitable events, including raising money for Fish Food Pantry and the Dream Project, creating gift baskets for the Association of Vietnam Veterans of America, providing food and water to the Roseburg Senior Center during the recent heat wave.
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