OURAY – It’s being hailed as the most important business change Ouray has seen since liquor stores started staying open on Sundays. The venerable Duckett’s Market on Main Street has expanded its hours and is now open seven days a week.
New (year-round!) store hours at the family-owned and operated grocery store are 8 a.m.-8 p.m., Mondays through Saturdays, and 12-6 p.m. on Sundays.
Duckett’s store manager Jeff Calvin said there have been a lot of requests over the years for expanded hours. Now, with increased foot traffic in the market due to two mines recently re-opening near Ouray, “it seems like we needed to do it,” he said.
The store has added additional staff to cover the expanded hours.
“We’ve had very positive feedback,” Calvin said. “It’s a good thing. People are really excited about it.”
While shopping local is obviously good for the local economy, it is not always easy on the pocket-book. Calvin is striving to make pricing at Duckett’s more competitive, however, by offering discounted pricing on several product lines.
“We’ve always paid someone to manage our pricing service through Associated Grocers,” Calvin explained. “Now, you can look for blue and white price tags throughout the store to indicate sets of products that are under in-house pricing control.”
Calvin is particularly excited about Duckett’s newly competitive pricing on pet food. “I have a Great Dane who eats six cups of dog food every day,” he explained.
One thing that hasn’t changed about Duckett’s is its old-fashioned butcher department – offering the kind of service that isn’t often found in larger supermarkets. Calvin and his protégé Ethan Fries set up the butcher case on a daily basis, and offer choice, custom cuts of lamb, pork and beef. The homemade sausage is a customer favorite. No carbon dioxide is ever used to keep meats looking artificially fresh.
Ouray business owner Karen Avery was the first customer in the door earlier this month on the day Duckett’s lifted its decades-long prohibition against doing business on Sundays. She actually parked outside 15 minutes early and waited for the store to open before dashing in to spend about $100 stocking up on food for the coming week.
“I wanted them to know I was very happy about the change,” she said. “I don’t have my act together to get my shopping done earlier in the week, and I always found myself stuck on Sundays.”
Now, instead of making the drive to Montrose to do her weekly shopping, she can spend more time at home and support her own local economy.
For Avery, the former president of the Ouray Chamber Resort Association Board of Directors and a big supporter of ‘buy local’ initiatives, it’s about more than just the convenience of buying groceries on Sunday.
“It’s a matter of making sure there is a grocery store,” she said. “It ranks right up there with having a school, in terms of the viability of our community.”
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