Lucky’s preparing for major growth

BOULDER – A month after Boulder-based Lucky’s Market opened a store in Longmont, owner and founder Bo Sharon said Monday that he hopes to open another in Colorado sometime in 2014, although it will likely be outside Boulder County.

The addition will hardly be the only one next year for Sharon.

Lucky’s has added 35 employees at its corporate headquarters over the past four months as Sharon partners with Sunflower Farmers Market co-founder Patrick Gilliland on the launch of Lucky’s Farmers Market in four other states.

Sharon said the Colorado stores will keep the Lucky’s Market branding, while the out-of-state stores will be known as Lucky’s Farmers Market. But all will be similar in their offerings, with the Lucky’s Farmers Markets likely being in the 22,000- to 26,000-square-foot range, more like the new Longmont store than the original 12,000-square-foot Boulder store.

The first Lucky’s Farmers Market is set to open Oct. 23 in Columbus, Ohio. A store in Columbia, Missouri, will follow in January. Billings, Montana, in February, Louisville, Kentucky, in April and Bozeman, Montana, in April or May will round out the stores currently planned.

“We’ve got most of our management team hired out there and will be working on the rest of our staff the next couple weeks,” Sharon said of the Columbus store. “It’s a good buzz out there.”

Sharon said the Longmont store has helped drive interest in new locations in Colorado, and added that he’s “diligently pursuing” new locations here.

“Boulder County sadly is a bit tight at the moment,” Sharon said. “I think we’ll have to go outside the county at this point.”

The Lucky’s expansion has led to about 150 new employees in Boulder County in total over the past six months. The Longmont store hired 104 employees, and the Boulder store also added staff as business continues to surge. The 35 employees at the headquarters include everything from purchasing managers for Lucky’s Farmers Markets to marketing and human resources.

“It’s cool,” Sharon said of all the local growth.

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