Community Power Works for Small Business: City Foods

Community Power Works for Small Business: City Foods

Owner: Joe Baker

Location: Belltown Neighborhood – 2522 5th Ave, Seattle, WA 98121

Measures:  New beverage cooler, deli reach-in cooler, “cheese Island” reach-in cooler, 26 existing refrigerator case motor replacements, existing refrigerator case temperature controls replacement, refrigerator case lighting replacement, existing overhead lighting lamp replacement, new “Elite list” pendant and track lighting

Contractor: Batt & Lear

Estimated Annual Energy Cost Savings:  $3859

Community Power Works and additional efficiency incentives: $23,194 = 78% of project cost

When Joe Baker, owner of City Foods for 18 years, heard that City University was moving in one block from his Belltown store, he knew that it was time to take action to capture the new high-end customers and transform the space which had gone virtually untouched for 11 years. “City Foods was starting to look more like a convenience store than a neighborhood market,” Baker said. “We knew that we needed to make some substantial changes to look more like the upscale, fresh, local store that we want to be.”  About the same time, Baker learned about the Community Power Works for Small Business program from Charlie Cunniff with the City of Seattle Office of Economic Development and, he said, “It was a no-brainer.”

Community Power Works efficiency upgrade measures were incorporated into a remodel plan that allowed City Foods to reconfigure its space, and rebrand as the go-to store for the upscale clientele moving in. Top of the line LED pendant and track lighting in the entry way highlight a new efficient open gourmet cheese island, white wine cooler, reach in deli-cooler, and beer growler bar always featuring tough to get Mac & Jack’s Amber and Manny’s Pale Ale as well as four additional rotating taps, all contributing to the feel of a cosmopolitan gourmet market. Throughout the store, efficient overhead light replacements create bright, even illumination, which also saves 25% over old, discolored bulbs. Additionally, new LED light installed in existing coolers “wake up” products that had been cast in a dull pall. “New lighting was probably the most noticeable thing that we did,” said Baker. “It changed the whole look and feel of the store.  Everything just looks clean and bright.”

By connecting with Community Power Works for Small Business, City Foods was able to implement upgrades with incentives that covered 80% the project cost. These changes will save 68,572 KwH, or $3,859 annually. Baker will recoup out-of-pocket costs in less than two years. “The program is great, and I was very pleased by working with the outstanding people from the City. I have been telling my business owner friends, ‘Man, you gotta’ do this program before it goes away.’”

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Community Power Works is a Seattle neighborhood-based building retrofit program that will achieve deep energy savings and create green jobs.