The Boulder King Soopers on Table Mesa reopens with memorial ceremony
Updated 11:47 a.m.
The King Soopers in Boulder, where a gunman shot and killed 10 people last March, officially reopened to the public Wednesday.
Employees and Boulder leaders held a ceremony to welcome back the community and remember the lives lost.
The entire King Soopers parking lot, fenced off for months in the aftermath of the shooting, was packed with locals who cheered as returning associates were put front and center. About half the employees who worked at the store prior to the closure are returning to their jobs.
“We were strong in the beginning. We continue to build our strength. We're stronger than ever. All I ask for is peace,” said store lead Sheri Bosman.
At the end of the ceremony, instead of cutting a ribbon, a group of employees and city leaders tied together two ribbons to signify the unification of Boulder and its community. Following that, people were ushered into the store to witness the new digs.
The store was shuttered for nearly a year as it underwent a complete renovation. King Soopers leadership hopes the remodel will help people still trying to process the tragedy.
“This homecoming really signifies a momentous milestone in our healing journey for both our associates and our community. This project has been a labor of love,” said Jessica Trowbridge, a King Soopers spokesperson, at a Tuesday preview of the store.
Trowbridge said the company took feedback from employees and community members during the redesign. The exterior now boldly brands itself as “Table Mesa King Soopers,” a departure from the traditional look of most King Soopers grocery stores.
Susie Anderson and her husband, Chuck, who live across the street from the supermarket, attended the reopening ceremony. They’ve shopped at this King Soopers for the past nine years and were excited to return.
“We kind of feel like orphans, like grocery store orphans. You go to one place, you go to another. It's not the same though,” Anderson said.
Upon entering the store, shoppers are greeted by a “grand vestibule” instead of the previous east and west entrances. A large mural of the Flatirons painted by local artist Lael Har is the first thing customers will see.
“Oh my gosh. So beautiful,” Anderson said when she entered for the first time. “The openings are so much bigger, so much more open and that mural's gorgeous. It’s really comfortable.”
The inside features expanded floral and produce sections, and the company removed the store’s ceilings and installed new lighting to create the “bright and open atmosphere” employees requested.
In the coming months, King Soopers will install a permanent outdoor memorial space for the victims.
The memorial outside the Boulder King Soopers grew as people mourned together. Soon, it’ll be preserved in a museum
“It will have 10 trees, one to represent each life that was lost here,” Trowbridge said. “And also a nice designed bench so that people can go over there and really enjoy the space and capture that peace.”
Trowbridge said additional security measures have been added to the store, but the company does not want to make the specifics public.
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