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Take a stroll down the aisles of the produce section at the Richmond Apple Market and you might think you’re in a different store.
An additional 160 feet of space has been added to the store’s produce section, allowing for 30 more varieties of fruits and vegetables.
Shoppers no longer need to go to “the city” for leeks, bok choy and fresh artichokes. Sleek black display cases with individual bins show off fruits and vegetables, and tiffany overhead lights accentuate products displayed on tables in the aisle.
“Johnny, you’ve got things looking nice,” said a grocery shopper to Produce Manager Johnny Williams. He grinned and said he has been receiving good feedback from customers about the changes.
“The bins show the produce well and the rest can stay under refrigeration to stay fresher than in the past,” Williams said.
Produce is only one area where Apple Market has made improvements. The renovation also allowed for a 60-foot display case to showcase deli items. Apple Market co-owner Bob MacDonald said the store will have a bigger variety of cakes and pies, along with its selection of side dishes, deli meats and cheeses and food made in their kitchen. MacDonald also said the deli will be open until 6 p.m. in the near future.
The dairy area has also expanded to include four dozen more items, according to Dairy Manager Ronnie Bayne.
The store, known for their hand-cut meats, underwent a transformation in the meat department recently, as well. The department can now boast 144-feet of display area from reconditioned display cases. Different cuts of meat, such as fajita beef and pork stew, are now available as well as more ready-made entrees.
“We cut [meat] for the case and now have double the display area, which should make items fresher,” said Jeff Webb, meat manager.
Webb said although some things have changed, their service has not.
“We’re all about customer service,” he said. “We have meat cutters on duty all day for specialized cuts, to slice hams or cut turkeys and tenderize meats. We ground beef fresh daily, first thing in the morning.”
The new displays are also more energy efficient, according to MacDonald, as is the new oven in the deli department.
The store has also installed new scanners, scales and faster debit and credit machines at check-out counters.
The entry area of the store will be re-tiled soon to make it more attractive, MacDonald said.
“We’re just your hometown store just trying to make a more pleasant place to shop,” he said, adding, “We want to thank our customers for their continued support.”
Photo: Johnny Williams, produce manager for Richmond Apple Market, restocks grapes and oranges in the new display cases at the store. The renovation allows for 30 more varieties of fruits and vegetables. (Photo by JoEllen Black/The Daily News)