Cape supermarket in middle of storewide renovation

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Schnucks Cape Girardeau supermarket is in the midst of a multimillion-dollar upgrade that will bring more variety and convenience for shoppers, store manager Dennis Marchi said.

Work began last month installing new energy-efficient coolers, brighter LED lighting, new bins in the bakery and much more.

The Cape Girardeau store is one of only four in the company with a gourmet cheese selection and olive bar with 24 olive products.

"I have people that thank me every day because they don't have to go to St. Louis anymore to find a certain cheese," Marchi said.

The renovations will allow Schnucks to add more organic produce, dairy-free and gluten-free products, he said.

A young mother also recently thanked him because she found gluten-free products for her child that she had been traveling to St. Louis to buy.

"We hit a home run with this," Marchi said pointing to a new four-sided display of all gluten-free products. "There is such a demand for it."

Additional coolers will allow the store to offer more seafood, both fresh and frozen, and more dairy products.

Marchi said a lot of thought went into where to locate things in the renovated store in an effort to make things more convenient for shoppers to find.

"We tried to centralize things to save them steps. Now they don't have to go to the other end of the store," Marchi said.

For example, baking pans are on the same aisle with cake mixes now, paper towels are on the same aisle as cleaning liquids, and bottled teas are on the same aisle as tea bags.

Renovations are expected to continue for several more weeks and the store will celebrate a grand reopening in October. This is the store's 36th year in Cape Girardeau. Its last remodel was in 2000.

* The Cape Girardeau Area Chamber of Commerce, along with 16 other chambers of commerce, will host the Southeast Missouri Regional Transportation Summit on Sept. 26 and 27 at The Plaza by Ray's in Cape Girardeau. The conference will include presentations on transportation-related topics. Confirmed speakers include FHWA-MO division administrator Kevin Ward, MoDOT director Kevin Keith, Amy Larson, president of National Waterways Conference, and air service strategy consultant Michael Mooney of Sixel Consulting Group. Attendees will have a chance to hear updates and future growth planning for highways, rail, air and waterways, said John Mehner, president and CEO of the Cape Girardeau Area Chamber of Commerce.

"On the second day of the summit, we will have structured, facilitated discussions and make recommendations on the available additional funding sources which have been discussed statewide. We will present our findings to our leaders in Jefferson City," he said.

Event sponsorships and exhibitor booths, along with registration discounts are available to chamber members.

The conference is co-hosted by 16 other chambers of commerce in Southeast Missouri. Any member company of the participating chambers will receive a discounted registration rate. In addition to the Cape Girardeau Area Chamber of Commerce, other chambers are from Bonne Terre, Charleston, Dexter, East Prairie, Farmington, Jackson, Kennett, Malden, Perryville, Park Hills-Leadington, Piedmont, Poplar Bluff, New Madrid, Scott City, Sikeston and Ste. Genevieve. In conjunction with the summit, the Missouri Legislature will host a Joint Interim Committee meeting on transportation needs just before the start of the summit. The meeting will be held from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Sept. 26 at The Plaza by Ray's and is open to the public. The brochure with agenda can be accessed on the Cape Girardeau chamber's website at http://www.capechamber.com/Seminars.aspx. For more information, contact Tracey Glenn, vice president of the Cape Girardeau Area Chamber of Commerce, at 335-3312 or tglenn@capechamber.com.

* Signature Packaging and Paper LLC of Jackson was named one of the Top 20 small businesses in St. Louis for 2012 by the Small Business Monthly Magazine at the Hilton Frontenac Hotel on Aug. 21. Signature Packaging is a manufacturer of corrugated packaging and displays, serving a diverse customer base, including Procter & Gamble, since 2003.

* PAJCO Inc. opened Mercato di Rodi at 425 S. Mount Auburn Road in Cape Girardeau last week. This is the second Mercato di Rodi location for the owners and operators of Rhodes 101 Stops, and it's the first in Cape Girardeau.

The store provides an upscale setting for customers while still offering them a familiar experience. The location will have wine selections from Primo Vino, a walk-in beer cave and the innovative Coca-Cola Freestyle fountain, which allows customers to create a beverage from more than 101 options.

Southeast Missourian business editor Melissa Miller may be contacted at 388-3646 or mmiller@semissourian.com.

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