Wednesday, January 20, 2021
Jan. 20, 2021

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Ridgefield shoppers embrace new supermarket during first week

By , Columbian Staff Writer
6 Photos
Shoppers check out at the new Ridgefield Rosauers, which opened on Saturday.
Shoppers check out at the new Ridgefield Rosauers, which opened on Saturday. (Nathan Howard/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

RIDGEFIELD — Buying groceries hasn’t been much of a trek for Tammy Swanson since she moved to Ridgefield about a year ago, but she’s still excited for the convenience brought on by Rosauers, the city’s new supermarket.

Swanson used to travel about 15 minutes to shop at Fred Meyer or Safeway in another city. Now she’s got a new 52,000-plus-square-foot store much closer.

“I can walk here,” Swanson said. “This is my grocery store.”

That’s how plenty of Ridgefield residents have felt since Rosauers opened Saturday. Ridgefield has been named the fastest-growing city in the state three times since 2015. Still, city officials couldn’t attract that elusive supermarket until the Port of Ridgefield locked down an agreement with Rosauers, a chain of grocery stores based in Spokane. The Ridgefield store is the first Rosauers west of the Cascade Range, according to Mike Myhre, district manager.

“The leadership of the town liked us, and we liked them,” Myhre said. “They’ve been looking for something to put here and thought we’d be a good fit. We agreed.”

Myhre got a front-row view of how excited people were for the supermarket on opening day, when he estimated more than 3,300-plus came out for the ribbon cutting and to shop.

“People were emotional about it,” he said. “They’ve been waiting a long time to have something like this that can meet all their needs.”

The full-service supermarket is part of the Discovery Ridge property at 45th Avenue and Pioneer Street, and it will anchor a four-phase development plan for the site. The first phase consists of Rosauers and retail space, which will see a dental clinic, orthopedic clinic and brewhouse.

The next phase will include a Taco Bell and credit union, while the third phase will add a fueling station and drive-thru espresso stand. That third phase is being developed by the Port of Ridgefield, which owned the land before selling it to the developer. The fourth phase hasn’t been planned yet but could be primarily residential, with developers looking at condominiums, townhomes or a community center.

Rosauers has a few different specialty departments, such as a sushi bar, brick-oven pizzeria, a juice bar and a meat counter with butchers on hand. There is also a bakery, where Myhre estimated 90 percent of the items are baked fresh each day. One big hit so far has been Ridgefield-themed cookies with the high school’s letters on a football-shaped cookie and another one with a frosted image of the Spudders’ mascot.

Christina Paulson has lived in Ridgefield on and off for 13 years, and was making her second visit to the store on Tuesday. She was one of the 3,300-plus to celebrate opening day on Saturday.

“The store is great,” she said. “It’s so nice to have something so close.”

Her daughter, Izabella Paulson, had a very specific favorite part of the store so far.

“I really liked the pineapple thing,” she said.

The pineapple thing is a machine that cores and peels a whole fruit, giving the customer fresh-cut pieces. It takes about 20 seconds to turn a whole pineapple into small pieces to go.

Myhre said the store employs about 100 at the moment, which he expects to increase in the future.

Rosauers President and CEO Jeff Philipps told The Columbian in 2018 that opening the Ridgefield store could lead to more Southwest Washington locations. Myhre said nothing is in the works on that at the moment. Since it’s the first store in a new area, the company wants to figure out what sort of items residents want.

“We go on demand,” he said. “We try to bring in what people want. That’s always evolving.”