These days, Alpine Market is sharing the Aloha Spirit. The employees walk around in Hawaiian shirts. You can buy pineapples, pineapple upside down cake and Hawaiian chicken. If it’s anything Hawaiian, it’s discounted.
“Every year [with exception of 2020], we do Hawaiian days during the early spring with snow to lighten up the long dreary winter,” store manager Harold Jones told SVI Media. “We do Hawaiian days for two weeks. We have Hawaiian stuff on special. A fun little thing to lift community spirits. It’s fun.”
In 2021 especially, as the world comes out of COVID winter, Alpine Market is looking to boost the community as they prepare for the grand opening of their new building. The longtime community grocery store will now be under the Broulim’s umbrella, but the name, Alpine Market, will remain on the storefront. For years, Star Valley folks and visitors from throughout the world have stepped into Alpine Market on their way to Jackson, up the Grey’s River or to play on Palisades Reservoir. It’s a cross roads, of sorts, for all things Wyoming.
“It’s been kind of the cornerstone of the community,” Jones told SVI for its regular Chamber of Commerce business highlight. “People from all over the world have shopped here.”
Jones said locals call Alpine the “gateway to Jackson,” but for him it’s all about “community, the people. The locals are great people to work with, just the short time I’ve been here.”
Jones moved to Star Valley about four years ago to manage Broulim’s in Afton. He transferred to Alpine after the small franchise bought Alpine Market and geared up for the opening of the new, larger facility.
Despite new ownership, he emphasized, the community feel of Alpine Market will remain. “Broulim’s is so community oriented. We have 10 stores now” in eastern Idaho and in Wyoming, he added. The small chain, itself, he said started sometime in the late 1920s.
“Store directors are charged with going to livestock sales supporting the 4H program. [We’re] always involved in community events or activities. I love doing that kind of stuff. We’ve done fundraisers. We try to help out where we can.
“The grocery store is where people get to see each other in the community. It’s pretty amazing.”
The grand opening for the new Alpine Market is planned for close to Memorial Day, he said, adding that the facility will include a conference room and dining room that can be scheduled by the community, including for family events.
In addition, the building will have open windows on several sides, “so you can see the mountains while you’re shopping. Bring your spotting scope and look for deer if you want,” he added, laughing.
The new Alpine Market will continue to focus on family – whatever the makeup of your family, Jones related. And during 2020, that showed as Broulim’s, through its supply chains, sought for necessities for customers such as toilet paper and sanitizers. When they find products in the supply chains at lower prices, they pass on those savings to patrons, he said. They even purchased supplies from restaurant chains that had to close down during the pandemic, alleviating some of their losses.
And individual employees try to make a difference. Jones described how one employee had just purchased toilet paper when a customer came in who was completely out of that COVID-strained product. “[The employee] gave them the toilet paper they’d already purchased.
And the new store is hiring. Currently, Alpine Market has 32 employees, but that number will increase to about 75 as the new store opens. The grand opening will include a ribbon cutting, some local music and dance performances, food and a barista for coffee and ice cream. The new building will include a new counter for patrons wanting to rest their feet and have a cup of coffee, a hot chocolate or fresh donuts and bagels.
Alpine Market currently offers online shopping, and in the near future, there will be deliveries.
— For more information on the new Broulim’s Alpine Market, see https://broulims.com/alpine_market or see their Facebook page.