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Shamrock confirms Louisville food warehouse

LOUISVILLE — Restaurant supplier Shamrock Foods Co. is opening a food warehouse in a Louisville building that formerly housed an Alfalfa’s Market Inc. grocery store. 

The Arizon-based company confirmed the move this week after BizWest reported this month that it has applied to Louisville 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. That incentives offer was approved by the Louisville City Council. 

“Shamrock Foodservice Warehouse is a one-stop solution for restaurant operators of all sizes. The stores are designed to complement Shamrock Foods’ Colorado foodservice distribution business by allowing existing customers to supplement their direct delivery orders with the professional foodservice brands they know and love,” the company said in a news release. “Open to the public and with no membership fees, the stores’ thousands of chef-approved products are also easily accessible to caterers, food trucks, home cooks, community organizations, schools and more.”

In a memo provided to Louisville officials, Shamrock said it hopes to have tenant improvements completed at the former Alfalfa’s by this winter, and its new release this week said the food warehouse is “tentatively scheduled to open in 2024.”

The company “estimates that the project will include $1.8 million in tenant finish improvements and an additional $10,000 in signage,” city documents said. “The company estimates that it will collect and remit $730,000 in new retail sales tax over the first five years of operation.”

Louisville leaders approved $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 will be taking over a vacant business, it will 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. 

Shamrock is opening another food warehouse in Aurora. Combined, the locations will employ 45 workers. 

Alfalfa’s closed the Louisville grocery store in April 2021 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 were closing.

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 2021.

Source: BizWest