After only two years in business, BJ and Christine Bollier of Vita Mart have doubled their number of products. Now they have doubled the size of their store to fit all of the merchandise and add a few new surprises.
On Monday, the Bolliers opened the new and improved Vita Mart located a few steps from the old store in the Twin Pines Shopping Center.
The new space, previously occupied by Save-Mor, is 2,000 square feet and includes a spice wall, peanut and almond grinder, self serve bulk bins and refrigerated produce section, all features the Bolliers could not have dreamed of having in the smaller Vita Mart.
Vita Mart grew, BJ said, as customers asked for more products.
“When we first opened I asked people what they wanted and we got recommendations,” he said, “but we got overloaded and I said we can’t fit another thing into this store.”
He said he still receives at least 10 requests a week for new items.
“I don’t special order anything,” he said. “I order it and then carry it.”
Christine said it took a solid month of work to get the new space spruced up to their standards including hours of cleaning and painting the walls a vibrant green.
The Bolliers also traveled across the state to collect shelving, coolers and fixtures from stores going out of business.
Now with the new space, they have room to house their more than 3,800 items and even space for overstock.
A wall of spices has been added along with 130 bulk bins, which offer a varied collection of grains, nuts, flours and beans.
“People were drawn to the store because we are passionate about it,” he said.
“Payson really wanted an organic grocery store. No one had done it as total package before.”
BJ said he has no plans to make Vita Mart bigger in size because with bigger stores you lose the personal touch his customers have learned to depend on.
“You lose something personal when you get huge,” he said. He does have plans to one day expand Vita Mart to small towns across the state.
A customer, who was checking out, chimed in that Vita Mart, could go global.
“I don’t have to worry about quality here,” she said.
“See, that is the kind of support we hear every day,” BJ said.
Besides positive feedback, BJ said he is grateful for all of the people who turned up over the weekend to move merchandise from the old store to the new.
He said it is such a change from two years ago, when he and Christine set up the store by themselves.
On Saturday, when BJ arrived at the store to begin the move, a dozen people were waiting in the parking lot to get to work.
“There were a dozen people with dollies, trailers,” he said. “They said we want this to happen.”
“Payson helped build this Vita Mart.”
Besides space, BJ said he is expanding his produce deliveries from once a week to twice a week.