Retail  July 10, 2023

Restaurant supplier Shamrock eyes shuttered Louisville Alfalfa’s Market

LOUISVILLE — You’ve probably seen the Shamrock Foods Co. delivery trucks — logo of a zippy chef carrying a four-leaf clover atop a serving tray emblazoned on the sides — on the highway bringing supplies to local restaurants. Now the company is considering opening a restaurant-supply retail operation in a Louisville building that formerly housed an Alfalfa’s Market Inc. grocery store. 

Arizona-based Shamrock has applied to the city for a business assistance incentive package — essentially a reduction in taxes and fees — to help it set up shop at the 28,190-square-foot storefront at 785 E. South Boulder Road. The Louisville City Council is set to vote on the incentives during its meeting Tuesday night. The council will also review a similar application from a company that hopes to transform the former Sam’s Club location on McCaslin Boulevard into a pickleball center.

Shamrock “indicated that it will make a decision on the site this summer and hopes to have the project completed by winter 2023,” city documents show. “Shamrock estimates that the project will include $1.8 million in tenant finish improvements and an additional $10,000 in signage. The company estimates that it will collect and remit $730,000 in new retail sales tax over the first five years of operation.”

The application, which city staffers have recommended for approval, seeks $321,338.25 in total incentives over five years. That total comes from 50% reductions in building permit fees and construction use tax and signage permit fees and taxes. 

Because Shamrock, representatives of which did not respond to requests for comment Monday, would be taking over a vacant business, it could be eligible for a vacancy bonus incentive of $1 for each square foot of retail space. In this case, that total bonus would be $28,190.

To be eligible for any incentive, Shamrock would have to be operational by the end of 2024, city documents show. 

In its application, Shamrock did not indicate in its application how many employees it plans to hire.

Shamrock, according to its website, operates an existing, 30,000-square-foot  “foodservice warehouse” in Denver, which opened in 2015. The retail operation “provides access to the restaurant-quality products customers want, where they want them, and exactly when they need them,” the site said. “Open to the public with no membership required, the store carries everything from high-quality meats and seafood to a variety of fresh produce and premium dairy. Plus, hundreds of items are Colorado-grown or manufactured.”

The building at 785 E. South Boulder Road, roughly the same size as Shamrock’s Denver warehouse, has been vacant since April 2011, when Alfalfa’s closed up shop amid a broader collapse of the grocery chain.

In the months leading up to the Louisville store closure, Alfalfa’s locations in Longmont and its flagship operation in Boulder.

As those stores were closing, BizWest obtained internal documents showing that the company owed hundreds of vendors more than $4 million.

“Unfortunately, the challenges of this last year, coupled with existing weakness in the company’s financial health, leave us no choice but to dissolve the company,” the company said in 2011.

LOUISVILLE — You’ve probably seen the Shamrock Foods Co. delivery trucks — logo of a zippy chef carrying a four-leaf clover atop a serving tray emblazoned on the sides — on the highway bringing supplies to local restaurants. Now the company is considering opening a restaurant-supply retail operation in a Louisville building that formerly housed an Alfalfa’s Market Inc. grocery store. 

Arizona-based Shamrock has applied to the city for a business assistance incentive package — essentially a reduction in taxes and fees — to help it set up shop at the 28,190-square-foot storefront at 785 E. South Boulder Road. The…

Lucas High
A Maryland native, Lucas has worked at news agencies from Wyoming to South Carolina before putting roots down in Colorado.
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