Boise-based Albertsons will open its second big showcase store in its home area in as many years. Saturday, the chain will welcome shoppers to Albertsons Market Street, a new store at on Fairview Ave. near Eagle Rd. in the Meridian Crossroads.

Dubbed a “foodie destination,” the store adds many services and goods to the traditional shopping trip.

The store takes up the space of a former Shopko store. A complete rebuild leaves very little of the old store except the walls, said Albertsons spokesperson Kathy Holland.

The length of the store from one side. Photo: Don Day/BoiseDev

“We tore down all the walls, redid the foundation, and kind of built the inside kept the outside shell,” she said. “We built the building inside to what we were looking for. As you walk around the store you can see, it doesn’t seem like such a large space. It doesn’t seem so overwhelming, like warehouse-style.”

Shoppers who have walked into the Albertsons Broadway store in Boise will recognize the look and feel, but this new location is more than a third large. It offers a wide variety of features not found in the Boise location, or other more standard Albertsons stores.

[Line of local products lands in Boise stores with mission to give back]

The mix of features is similar, beer, wine, deli, bakery, groceries, health goods. But what makes the store unique is the sheer volume of items available and specialty and niche goods.

Albertsons Meridian wine selection
More than 3,500 individual types of wine are available. Photo: Don Day/BoiseDev

Large wine and cheese shops

Wine, for instance, takes a particular focus. Holland says they belive the store has the largest selection of bottles in the state – with between 3,500 and 4,000 different varities.

An in-store wine sommelier will work with customers on pairings, and do in-store tastings and events.

Price points for wines vary widely, from the single digits – to $3,000 and more.

An extensive cheese selection has just about every variety imaginable, with extra features like a mozzarella stretching station that is on display for shoppers.

“We have over 3,000 different types of cheeses,” Holland said. “They will do tastings and help you pair with different things – meals, wines.”

Albertsons Market Street cheese department
A large selection of speciality cheeses sits between the wine and produce departments. Photo: Don Day/BoiseDev

Expanding on Broadway Albertsons ideas.

Some functions that had a tryout in the Broadway store take an even larger focus in Meridian. Nuts on Clark is a Chicago-based popcorn maker. In Boise, the corn is popped behind closed doors – but in Meridian there is a large custom popping station positioned near the bakery.

“We decided to do a Whole Nuts on Clark station here,” Holland said. “They’re on the floor popping the popcorn. I think there’s four or five different varieties that they can do different colors of popcorn”

She said these Market Street stores allow Albertsons to try ideas that can move to other stores throughout the division and across the country.

“We definitely learned a lot of lessons from the Broadway store and the flow of traffic and what customers were looking for, and tried to expand that in this space.”

Albertsons Market Street Nuts on Clark
A worker pops Nuts on Clark popcorn ahead of the Albertsons Market Street opening Saturday. Photo: Don Day/BoiseDev

Ready-to-go or heat-and-eat at Albertsons Market Street

Prepared and ready-to-go foods take on even more prominence in this store. One new addition is Cadence Kitchen. The bulk meals can scooped into containers at any quantity, then shoppers can take them home and prepare them in a skillet in just a few minutes.

“So two scoops for two people, cook in a skillet for ten minutes at home and it’s restaurant quality meals ready-to-go,” Holland said.

Varieties include macaroni and cheese, chicken dishes, shrimp dishes, street corn and more.

Cadence meals at Albertsons Market Street
Cadence meals made available at the store. Photo: Don Day/BoiseDev

Hot ready-to-eat meals, a big focus at Broadway, are expanded further here. In addition to stone-fired pizza, Asian dishes and sandwiches, Albertsons Market Street Meridian adds a gyro and taco station, expanded soup station, made-to-order salad area and more.

It also moves around some of the Asian dishes that are in a hot bar self-serve setting at the Boise Albertsons and moves them to a service counter. The hot bar still features a variety of items likes soups, mac and cheese, mashed potatoes and more.

A new Ivar’s seafood soup station features the popular Seattle staple.

The Talon Tap & Spirits seating area. Photo: Don Day/BoiseDev

Talon Tap & Spirits and a Starbucks kiosk sit in the northwest corner of the store, which is laid out all on one floor. Talon has a full complement of cocktails, plus shoppers can enjoy food purchases made in store.

Floral row

Albertsons Market Street floral
“Hey honey, I bought you a BUNCH of roses.” Photo: Don Day/BoiseDev

The floral department stretches nearly the entire length of the front of the store. It sits between the “center aisles” area and check stands. Flowers and plants of all types are available.

“We moved the demo table out front to do more classes and demos,” Holland said.
“There are amazing floral arrangements you can grab and go, but a lot of people like to do those things at home too. So you can grab these amazing market bunches and make your own arrangements.”

Albertsons Market Street Meridian features four different ways for guests to check out. Traditional “large” checkstands, express checking stations, food court checkout options – plus the store will have a self checkout area.

[Albertsons bringing back self checkout at some stores]

More features:

  • Most beer is made available inside cooler cases in a large section near the wine department.
  • Large produce selection with many fruits and vegetables not found in typical stores.
  • Butcher block with custom cuts, plus exotic meats like octopus.
  • An extensive Double R Ranch dry-aged beef cooler.
  • In-house scratch bakery.
  • Fresh tortilla-making station.
  • Expanded selection of gluten-free items from Gluten Free Galaxy.
  • Cakes, truffles, specialty chocolates, carmel apples.
  • Gelatto, frozen yogurt, mochi ice cream.
  • Large “international” aisle with Hispanic, Asian, British, Basque and other featured foods.
    • Holland said the Basque foods section at this store has been nearly doubled from Broadway. It is in partnership with Downtown Boise’s The Basque Market.
  • If you want to see how the sausage is made, you can: A display room to watch workers make sausage in-store.
  • A fresh cold-pressed juice area.
  • Expanded bulk goods section.
  • Catering to the high concentration of families in Meridian, the store features an expanded baby section. It features baby food, clothing and toys.
  • In-store Akos Med Clinic, walk-in medical care.
  • Expanded pet food and goods section.
  • Two charging stations for electric vehicles on the outside of the stores. Customers can charge their EVs for free.
  • Drive-up pharmacy window, located along the front of the building.
  • Small appliances, home goods, cookware and more kitchen items.
  • A dedicated Idaho-goods area with clothing, home goods, branded items, books and other items made in and for the Gem State.
Idaho goods section. Photo: Don Day/BoiseDev

Albertsons Market Street Meridian will open Friday March 8th for a soft opening. A grand opening celebration is set for Saturday March 9th. The store is located at 3499 E. Fairview Ave., Meridian, Idaho.

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