LaVerde’s Market, a medium-sized grocery store, specializing in made-to-order sandwiches and ready-made meals, has been serving the MIT community since the 1980’s. The owner hired Approach Architects to reconfigure select areas of the store and to update finishes throughout.
The major challenge was to increase visibility into the store without reducing product area. The bulk candy and snacks completely filled the front of the store. Periodicals, particularly newspapers, were stacked by the doors. Approach proposed several reconfigurations including fixtures combining both items. In the end, we designed new racks for the bulk candy allowing the front windows to be cleared for increased visibility into the store.
A second design issue was to improve the lighting levels as the below grade location of the store had limited natural light and an insufficient lighting layout. Approach reconfigured the lighting, adding both general and specialty lighting to increase the overall brightness and highlight specific areas of the store.
The project schedule was very tight. The store is open until 10:00 in the summer but open twenty-four hours during the academic year. We needed to complete the renovations before the end of August. In addition, the City was tearing up and replacing the street outside the building over the same summer, limiting access to the building for deliveries. We helped the contractor and owner coordinate trades to make sure the major deliveries would arrive when access could be assured.
Approach prepared several finish palettes based on reducing the overall number of colors in the space, providing ties to MIT, and creating a coordinated appearance between existing equipment, material finishes, menu boards, and way-finding signs. The owner preferred to maintain several of the existing colors, so we selected finishes that complimented those specific hues while dropping others from the store’s palette.