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Thomas H. Hughes Architecture - Perspective - January 2011
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Food & Drink

This is an example of what lexicographers call an irreversible binomial pair – a pair or grouping of words used together as an idiomatic expression – words that fall in a particular order.

It is also a theme for this edition of Perspective.

We spotlight our continuing relationship with a Greensboro corporation as it expands in locations far-and-wide.  We also note a new wine-and-dine attraction that will add more vim-and-vigor along Winston-Salem’s Trade Street.  While these projects both feature food-and-drink, the comparisons are limited.  It's a bit like apples-and-oranges.  The common element in all our projects, of course, is the need to focus on the nuts-and-bolts details inherent in all our work.  You might say that is part-and-parcel of what we do.   In the long run, it has led to grocery stores composing a nice slice of the Thomas H. Hughes/Architecture, P.C. portfolio while restaurants make up a smaller, but still rewarding segment.

This issue closes with a sneak peek at what to look for in our next E-edition.

In the meantime, we will continue to pump out more architecture.  That's our meat-and-potatoes! forward newsletter to a friend or colleague subscribe to receive future newsletters view our past newsletters email Tom Hughes email Andrew Lopina email Carlos Espinosa
The Fresh Market - Growing Greensboro's Groceterias

Cultural historians trace our modern grocery stores back to about one hundred years ago when the Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company (later known as A&P) opened small (usually less than 1,000 square feet) “dry grocery” stores – that is, canned goods and other non-perishable staples.  Nearby were often greengrocers and butchers who would meet other food needs.  The first self-service shopping stores were Piggly Wiggly stores which appeared in Memphis, Tennessee just before the First World War.  These stores and others that picked up on the philosophy were labeled “groceterias” since they were modeled after the then-popular cafeteria-style eateries that had appeared a few years earlier.  A&P, Kroger, and Safeway eventually became the first of the national-scale chains.  Even now, the chains with nation-wide reach (think Walmart, for example) continue to find strong competition from other, regional supermarket chains.  The battlefields vary in size with supermarkets ranging from the 250,000 sf Woodman's Food Market in Kenosha, Wisconsin to the 30,000 to 50,000 sf national average for stores, to specialty and boutique grocers which tend to be around 15,000 sf.

The Fresh Market first appeared in Greensboro, NC in 1982. Since then, the organization has grown to over 100 stores in 20 states.  In 2010 The Fresh Market went public in search of financial backing to expand to 500 stores over the next few years.  The day it was listed on the stock exchange it posted 2010’s second biggest first-day gain for an initial public offering by a U.S. company.  With revenues up almost 30% since 2007, it seems that investors saw the growth potential too.

The Fresh Market

* click images to enlarge


  Interior of The Fresh Market  

The Fresh Market’s growth has been based, in large part, on a focused philosophy of providing an attractive shopping environment reminiscent of European-style markets, with old-style butcher shop and fish market, produce and floral stands and a delicatessen.  The stores offer shoppers free freshly brewed coffee. Shoppers find well-stocked displays of top-quality goods and produce in attractive settings.

  Interior of The Fresh Market  

Most people probably give little thought to “their” grocery store (Loyalty to one’s primary store tends to be very high.  Only six percent of shoppers shifted to a different one in 2009, for example).  You can be sure that successful supermarket chains work hard to keep their share and steal customers from their competition whenever possible.  In New York City, according to a recent article in The New York Times, four supermarkets in one chain have switched to fully carpeted flooring – an unusual choice compared to most, but one that they believe their customers appreciate for the color, comfort, slip-resistance and noise-reduction.  More common is the emphasis on “green” food and facilities.  While it is hard to miss the number of people who arrive with cloth grocery bags and the growing section of dedicated organic produce within, the focus on reductions to energy consumption through skylighting, LED lighting, and changes to refrigeration systems may be less obvious.

  Forest Park - Greenville, SC email Andrew Lopina Forest Park (Click to Enlarge)  
  Mount Tabor Place - Winston-Salem, NC email David Kessler Mount Tabor Place (Click to Enlarge)  

In other trends, the majority of shoppers in America report that they are now preparing more meals in their kitchen than in the previous year.  This means that more people are making more trips to the store a week (2.06 visits per week per home), and according to industry newsletters, they arrive with special interests:  freshly prepared, heat-and serve food to take home (47%); made to order sandwiches (37%); extensive salad bar (37%); and prepared hot food buffet/bar (34 %) were noted in industry surveys.

Abercorn Walk - Savannah, GA
Former Quality Oil Co. Building - Before current renovation (Click to Enlarge) Former Quality Oil Co. Building - Before current renovation (Click to Enlarge)
Frequent trips to the store lead customers to lean toward the stores with smaller footprints.  For those who have travelled overseas, this begins to sound like the small local markets you might expect to find in Europe, where refrigerators and freezers are small and pantries limited.  Tourists can’t help but notice how residents stop at various markets as they work their way home with sufficient supplies for that evening’s meal at the end of the work day.  As American shopping habits and focus shifts, it looks like The Fresh Market’s design strategy is well-positioned to respond to match customers’ desires, and Thomas H. Hughes/Architecture, P.C. is ready to help The Fresh Market in that effort.
Sycamore Township - Cincinnati, OH email Carlos Espinosa Sycamore Township (Click to Enlarge)
Thomas H. Hughes/Architecture P.C. has provided architectural support for over one hundred food store anchored retail projects in ten states going back to our start in 1987.  Since 2005 this list has expanded by 25 projects with The Fresh Market.  These works stretch from Cincinnati, Ohio to Sarasota, Florida, and from Jackson, Mississippi, to Williamsburg, Virginia and include new stores, facility expansions and rehabilitations.  Given the projected growth of The Fresh Market and the quality of the relationship between our companies, we look forward to expanding that list dramatically.

* All photographs are Copyright © 2011 Thomas H. Hughes/Architecture, P.C. except for interior photos of
The Fresh Market.  These are assumed to be public domain.  If these are not public domain, please notify
Thomas H. Hughes/ Architecture, P.C. immediately.

Up on the Roof
District Bar and Grille Our firm has been involved in a number of exciting new projects in the bustling Arts District in downtown Winston-Salem. This area, which includes the Trade Street corridor and surrounding areas, has become a hub of activity both day and night.

Thomas H. Hughes/Architecture, P.C. has recently completed the design for the new District Bar and Grille, which repurposes a 1920's vintage masonry structure along with a new 7,650 square foot expansion to create a dynamic multistory restaurant/bar in an inviting, comfortable yet casual environment. The design concept includes outdoor dining and a rooftop bar. The project is slated for a Spring 2011 opening.

    district bar and grille
winston-salem, nc

project architect:
Andrew Lopina, AIA
* click images to enlarge
x xx
  Rendering of District Bar and Grille (Click to Enlarge)  
Next Issue
  Future SECU Family House (Click to Enlarge)  
There are many heartfelt smiles as the dirt is moving and the earth is being shaped at the end of Hospice Lane in Winston-Salem.  The earthwork will be the first step in erecting the future SECU Family House.  The Family House will be a very special project for the community and families of loved ones who are being treated at the City’s two major hospitals.  In an upcoming issue we will feature the  story of this project and the people who helped in its creation.

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email Andrew Lopina Abercorn Walk (Click to Enlarge) email David Kessler Mount Tabor Place (Click to Enlarge) email Andrew Lopina Forest Park (Click to Enlarge)