Enterprise grocery to open next week

Partners Ron Goebel (left) and Mike Goss (right) will focus on keeping prices low and the selection high through a no-frills approach to sales at their new grocery store in Enterprise. Photo by Rick Swart

The long-awaited reopening of an Enterprise grocery store will take place next week when partners Mike Goss and Ron Goebel open the doors of the "Dollar Stretcher."

The big event is scheduled for 8 a.m. on Wednesday, nearly six months after Goss and Goebel bought the store from Dean and Lou Norden and began an extensive remodeling project that doubled the amount of retail space.

"We've got two week's worth of work and one week to get it done," Goss said this week, pointing to a new walk-in cooler that stretches from one side of the store to the other.

Customers will hardly recognize the former quarters of Enterprise Food City, which were gutted and completely redone to make way for new fixtures and equipment throughout.

In addition to the big walk-in cooler the remodeled store will open with 10,000 feet of floor space, a new 10,000 square foot parking lot,expanded produce and meat sections, state-of-the-art scanning stations, custom built fixtures, and display cases purchased from Albertson's in Baker City.

Wallowa County tradesmen have been working virtually nonstop since last november under the watchful eye of general contractor Rex Taylor, who supervised the remodel.

The store is patterned after one that Goss managed in Homer, Alaska and will feature nearly 800 items trucked in from Costco in Lewiston, plus a line of conventional grocery products from United Retail Merchants in Spokane, and other vendors from around the country. In addition to consumer and institutional-sized grocery items, Dollar Stretcher will also offer such products as television sets, video cassette recorders, automotive products, and office supplies.

"We're building on the base the Dean and Lou have established over the years," said Goss.

The business is what Goss calls a "value-based" store, meaning the offerings will consist of primarily those items that people buy all the time.

"We won't have some of the more exotic items but we will have a full line of conventional groceries and Costco-integrated merchandise," he said.

The all-concrete floors and pallets of goods stacked at the end of the display cases create a warehouse look similar to Shop 'n Kart, which Goss managed in the early '90s, and other "price impact" stores.

"We will try to take advantage of pallet buys," said Goss, noting that the store will also attempt to keep prices low by utilizing a no frills approach to sales. For example, customers will have to carry their groceries out of the store themselves. The business plan for the Dollar Stretcher was honed by Myron Kirkpatrick, Wallowa County's business facilitator, who knows a little about wholesaling himself as the former comptroller of Costco.

"I can't say enough about Myron Kirkpatrick and Wallowa County business Facilitation," said Goss. "They were absolutely instrumental in putting this project together."

Dollar Stretcher from 12 to 15 people. Hours of operation will be 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.

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