New Kum & Go to offer fresh food, opens Thursday | CraigDailyPress.com

New Kum & Go to offer fresh food, opens Thursday

Lauren Blair

— Craig's eastern entry point is about to look a lot fresher with the grand opening of the brand new Kum & Go this Thursday.

With an emphasis on providing fresh food and a "rustic industrial" interior design that's meant to create a warm, welcoming feel, the new store design promises to perk things up for residents and passers-through alike.

"Just having the new store and the visual effects coming into town is going to be really nice," said Moffat County Commissioner Chuck Grobe. "It'll be a nice fixture for everyone driving into town from the east, and it's a truck stop, too, which is going to add something to the community."

The "marketplace" store is a new prototype for Kum & Go, which will open 20 of the new stores across its 11-state market by the end of the year.

The store features a more spacious entryway that leads directly to an open food preparation area with fresh pizzas and made-to-order sandwiches like the chicken pesto panini. There's also a seating area with free wi-fi and an electrical charging station for those stopping through for a meal, wood beams that add warmth to the space and a heated outdoor seating area.

"If someone stops in for a slice of pizza for lunch, they don't have to go eat it in their car," said Kum & Go Communications Director Kristie Bell. "Fresh food is really the focus of these stores. We'll even have fresh-baked bread. It kind of lends to that market feel."

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To top things off, Bell described a final special touch.

"The Craig store will have what we call sort of our love letter to the community. It's a giant ampersand sculpture installed outside the store, painted with different aspects of the Craig community," she said, adding that it's become a favorite "selfie" spot for customers at other stores that feature them.

The project has been several years in the making, with countless agreements and arrangements to be ironed out between the company, the city, the county and Colorado Department of Transportation. The county sold several parcels of land that previously housed the Moffat County Road and Bridge Department maintenance facility to Kum & Go for the project.

"It's been a long haul… It was quite a big project and a long project," Grobe said. "It's one of those nice things to see come to a close, and the county can step back and concentrate on other things again."

It’s too soon to say whether the new store will have any significant economic impact on Craig, but Grobe is hopeful that it will become a favored place to stop, refuel and grab a bite to eat for regular and commercial drivers alike.

The store opens at 6 a.m. Thursday with a grand opening and ribbon-cutting to take place at noon Friday.

Contact Lauren Blair at 970-875-1795 or lblair@CraigDailyPress.com or follow her on Twitter @LaurenBNews.