Whether you’re in need of a quick dinner, a beer on a rooftop patio or a week’s worth of groceries, the new Lunds & Byerlys in Apple Valley aims to offer it all when it opens September 14. “We’re bringing the best of everything we have to offer into this store,” says Aaron Sorenson, senior communications manager for Lunds & Byerlys.
The grocery store chain is off to a fresh start at the corner of Pilot Knob Road and 155th Street, and it’s leaning on local talent to make the newest location and 29th store a success.
Brian Miller has been named the new general manager for Apple Valley’s Lunds & Byerlys store. After nearly 27 years in the grocery industry, Miller says he’s excited to be opening a new location in his hometown. “I’m super excited about being back in my own community and bringing a grocery store like this to the Apple Valley area,” Miller says.
He and his wife, Tamara, (who both attended Apple Valley High School), have four grown daughters and eight grandchildren. “I’ve lived in the Southwest Metro for 45 years,” Miller says. “My mother lives just down the street, and I live just a few miles down.”
The grocery store chain has evolved over the years, reshaping itself as needed to adapt to its consumers’ changing shopping habits. One way it’s responding to customer feedback is by offering more self-serve options. The Apple Valley store will be the second location to feature serve-yourself beer.
“It’s quite popular. It’s a concept we’re seeing more and more throughout the Twin Cities,” Sorenson says. “I think the thing people really enjoy about it is the ability to try things: ‘I’ll just have a few ounces of this, see if I like it.’ Just a great way to try new beers. Once you know what you want, maybe pour a glass of that.”
There will be eight self-serve taps with craft beers at The Mezz, (short for mezzanine), and will include plenty of choices for those who enjoy sampling local brews.
Customers stopping by for a quick bite to eat can expect to find a wide selection of cuisines. “Our delis are amazing,” Miller says. “The best of the best salad bars. I tell people our salad bar is literally the best in the state. I truly believe that.”
The new Apple Valley store will also offer Hissho Sushi; a taco bar, featuring build your own tacos, burrito bowls or nachos; and a wok bar with rice bowls, noodles, egg rolls and steam and stir-fried veggies.
Something that’s relatively new to Lunds & Byerlys is its Easy Eats section. “It’s all of the quick, prepared offerings: our deli, meat and seafood, produce and ready-to-cook stir fry veggies,” Miller says. “Instead of keeping all of those things in their own departments, we brought them together into one section of our stores. It’s a much easier place for consumers to shop for those items.”
From an environmental standpoint, the grocery store chain is leading the way with its use of eco-friendly technology, too.
The company has begun the process of installing CO2 refrigeration systems at a few of its stores, including the Apple Valley location. At the Lunds & Byerlys Highland Park store in St. Paul, the technology is already in place and is anticipated to reduce CO2 emissions by 540 metric tons, which is equivalent to the annual electricity usage of 94 homes. This has earned the grocery store chain a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Green Chill Award. “CO2 is a natural refrigerant,” Miller says. “It’s probably the most innovative technology of late that leads the industry. It’s very, very efficient and conserves energy.”
Meanwhile, plans for opening a Lunds & Byerlys store in Apple Valley have been in the works for a long time. “It’s an area we’ve been looking at for many, many years,” Miller says. “It’s a community that has such vibrant growth going on right now. We’re excited to be a part of that growth.”