For years it has been a general consensus that without a ‘real’ grocery store in Big Sky, that the community would have a hard time supporting the projected growth. The handful of convenience stores in the Big Sky area get the job done for a cup of coffee, a forgotten item or for a pastry or meal in a pinch but residents have to travel to Bozeman or Belgrade to really replenish their cupboards. Not for much longer….FINALLY!
Full-scale grocery store planned for Big Sky Town Center
By Joseph T. O’Connor Explore Big Sky Senior Editor
BIG SKY – Add another business to Big Sky’s growing Town Center.
Groundbreaking plans are set for Roxy’s Market, a 17,000-square-foot grocery store to be built at the intersection of Huntley Drive and Lone Mountain Trail in Big Sky.
The store will offer fresh produce, fish, meat and cheese from local sources and around the world, according to co-owners Roxy and Mike Lawler. As of press time, Mike expressed hopes that Bozeman-based project contractor Rotherham Construction would break ground by Nov. 26.
The Lawlers, who recently secured housing in Big Sky, opened their first Roxy’s in Aspen, Colo., in 2009. With that store established, they were looking to expand.
“Big Sky hit a really high note with us,” Roxy said. “It’s a great, young, well-thought-out and up-and-coming [place]. A magical, real mountain community [with] a lot of cachet is hard to find, [so it’s] great to be part of the development of Big Sky.”
The couple has been working on negotiations to build in Town Center for approximately two years, Roxy said, and now with the financial market seeing signs of recovery, their dream is turning into reality.
With other construction and infrastructure projects in the works in Town Center, including a medical facility, Roxy says the grocery store will provide an essential service for Big Sky.
“The timing has ended up being perfect,” she said. “I think the grocery store will be the cohesive glue to pull this community together.”
There are two City Market stores (part of the Kroger supermarket chain) in Aspen and a Whole Foods Market in Basalt, Colo., about 20 miles north. Mike says Roxy’s Market is used to the competition and has been studying prices in Gallatin County grocery stores.
“We’re going to be pretty darn competitive,” he said. “We looked at some of the supermarkets in Bozeman and were surprised to see many prices were higher than Aspen.”
There are two other grocery stores in Big Sky – the Country Market and the Hungry Moose Market and Deli. No one knows how these stores will be affected, but Roxy doesn’t see a problem. “It’s a completely different animal from those two,” she said. “Everyone has a niche, and people will [visit] both those locations. We want to fill in the missing pieces so people don’t have to go to Bozeman.”
Town Center Project Manager Ryan Hamilton sees the addition as another step forward for the community.
“This is something we’ve been working on and talking about at countless meetings over the years, and it’s moving forward and we’re extremely excited,” he said. “It’s a good step in the evolution of Big Sky as a place for year-round residents. It will lead to a lot more jobs and will keep a lot more money in Big Sky.”