With cheerful, if exhausted greetings, the twin brothers Michael and Daniel Moldenhauer greeted their inaugural shopper shortly before the announced early hour of 6:30 a.m. on Friday, May 21st, when Nadine Sprouse grabbed a shopping cart to make her way around the fully-stocked shelves at the Mike’s Market in Garden City. “I am so excited,” she laughed, “I don’t have to make trips elsewhere for most things!” Nadine first met father Dan Moldenhauer more than 20 years ago when the family purchased the KOA campground, their first venture in the area. “They don’t come any better than the Moldenhauer family,” Nadine said as she stocked up on food for the week. She is thrilled about their new grocery and Ace Hardware stores. She bustled around, returning several times on Friday, to check out the deli, Beans and Brews coffee shop, Zions Bank branch, greenhouse extension, liquor store, expanded lumber area and a soon-to-be-completed fuel stop. She is anxious to sample the smoked brisket right out of the oven and is impressed by the organization of the entire grocery store.
No stranger to promotional gigs, Nadine can also be seen in a televised spot for Chuck-a-Rama where she was filmed years ago describing her favorite meal at the well-known buffet. She is equally enthused about the new commercial venture in Garden City and wishes them huge success. In a continuation of the Moldenhauer’s corporate philosophy, Nadine enthusiastically reported her favorite chocolate milk has been ordered for her since it was not originally in stock.
Between the two stores, 150 summer-time employees have been engaged and all have the same underlying intent – to helpfully serve the customer. Daniel, the “numbers guy” who lives in Rexburg, revealed there is about $1.3 million in inventory and the signage package cost $125,000, exclusive of the gas station marquee.
Construction workers continued streaming throughout the site during evening prior to and during the opening hours and brothers Mike and Daniel admitted to a respective 35,000 and 30,000 steps daily for at least three weeks leading -up to Friday’s opening. Skid loaders swarmed the area pushing products and equipment into place, the parking area was continuously swept to remove construction debris and shelf stocking was underway without ceasing. Daniel proudly mentioned the store offers a wider selection than any other Associated Foods Store north of Ogden. The mezzanine, as advertised, has an amazing view overlooking Bear Lake and also gives a bird’s eye look at shoppers inside if you happen to be watching for your neighbor to join you for a morning brew and chat. The Ace Hardware side is filling rapidly and boasts a one-seater motorized canoe that will captivate any fisherman’s imagination. There is no shortage of power tools for the do-it-yourselfer and gadgets galore to repair and replace most of those unexpected items at home that unexpectedly demand attention.
The prior location of the small grocery store will be converted to a souvenir shop and local craftsmen are encouraged to suggest items for inclusion. The old Ace store has been removed in favor of expanded parking to allow space for large rigs including trucks and campers. The Moldenhauers graciously give credit to their contractor, R&O Construction, and the expertise offered by both Associated Food Stores and Ace Hardware for their help in moving through the planning and build processes in an expedited fashion. Mike’s family, in particular, has recently experienced a major trauma and, even so, pushed through with faith and dedication to handle all the challenges faced as a result of that difficulty and the problems inherent in such a large construction project continuing simultaneously. Each member of the Moldenhauer family has contributed his or her talent and time to this and past store openings and each were greeted with enthusiasm by the communities hosting them.
The official Grand Opening for the Garden City Ace Hardware and Mike’s Market are scheduled June 10th through 12th and promises to be a major event with prizes and celebrations with the Moldenhauer family in attendance. They hope not with the same exhausted footstep counts that pushed their limits this time around, but they will be ready, nonetheless. In the meantime, if your household needs a specific hard-to-find part or you hanker for a specialty ingredient from the grocery but can’t find it, just ask. You’ll undoubtedly be met with the same response given Nadine, “Yes, ma’am! Let me get that for you!”