New, expanded Ray's store planned for Sisters
Last updated 1/25/2004 at Noon
If all goes as planned, Sisters residents will be able to grocery shop in a larger, modernized Ray's Food Place next September.
C & K Market, Inc., which owns Ray's, is planning to build a new store behind the current location on West Highway 20 in the Three Wind Shopping Center.
The existing store would then be demolished, making room for additional parking.
"It's way overdue," said C & K Market's General Manager Larry Hage of the proposed new store.
"We feel we can do as well as any of the big boys that could come to town." Hage said the new Ray's is based on the same floor plan as the Ray's in Bend.
The existing Sisters store is 30,000 square feet and the proposed store will be 42,000 square feet.
"The biggest thing that is hurting us now is lack of room," said Hage.
He said the current size does not allow Ray's to carry all the items customers request and there are not enough check stands for busy times of the year.
According to Hage, the new Ray's will have a "substantially enhanced wine department," more natural foods including a full bulk food department, rotisserie, olive bar and expanded deli.
Hage said, "Sampling will be a part of the weekends." The new store will have a conference area for community events and cooking classes.
Hage said it "is our desire" to have a pharmacy and a bank in the new store just like the Bend Ray's.
However, those features are not finalized.
"We're very satisfied that we're getting a lot of the business in the community but we could do a better job," said Hage.
He said the new store should "stop leakage" of shoppers going to Bend.
Hage said it's important to keep the Sisters customer base happy.
C & K Market Project Supervisor Kevin Crumley said that while the interior is based on the Bend store, the exterior would match Sisters' style.
Crumley said C & K sent architects to Sisters to photograph all of the buildings so they could design the "older Western look." C & K has shown preliminary elevation drawings to the City of Sisters Planning Department and plans to formally submit plans this coming January.
Once plans are formalized, C & K will share them with the community.
"The exterior, with a couple of changes, should meet our expectations," said City of Sisters Planning Director Bill Adams.
Adams expects the planning process to go smoothly but adds the important issues to resolve are how parking is handled and the orientation of the new building on the site.
The new Ray's building will back up closer to homes in The Pines housing development.
Hage said C & K has held discussions with The Pines to work with their concerns.
"We want to make sure we're good neighbors," said Hage.
C & K had hoped to begin building this year but design delays pushed them past the concrete pouring season.
Now their plans are to begin construction in early 2005 and open that fall.
Hage said there may be a "a week or so of inconvenience" while the old Ray's is demolished and new parking is added.
However, he said, "it's amazing how fast they can demo and recycle." "Sisters has just been a dream for us," said Crumley, praising the good business and people of the community.
He added C & K management is excited to provide a modern store to Sisters.
C & K Market is also busy in another Central Oregon community.
They plan to open a new store in Redmond in August 2005 just before the Sisters store.
C & K Market, Inc. is a family-owned company headquartered in Brookings, Oregon.
C & K owns the Ray's Food Place chain, which is comprised of more than 50 stores in Oregon and Northern California.
C & K also owns several Shop Smarts and Price Less Foods stores.