Construction materials are seen inside the former 7-Eleven on Thursday. The new owners are renovating the building in hopes of opening an Old Grist Mill location in the fall.

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After the better part of a decade of attempts, it looks like the stars may align for Old Grist Mill to open a new location in Smithfield this fall.

Curtis Heaton and business partner Val D. Christensen hope to open the new location in the old 7-Eleven building at Center and Main in Smithfield around September or October.

Curtis and Charlene Heaton own and operate the first Old Grist Mill on 400 North in Logan, which opened in 1992. Since then, the bakery and sandwich shop has added one more location in Logan, one in Brigham City, one in Ogden and one in Kaysville, which would make Smithfield the bakery’s sixth location.

Heaton said they hope to sell bread, sandwiches, soup, baked goods, ice cream and a variety of beverages at the location. Anything that’s at the Logan location could be on offer in Smithfield, he said.

“I think we’re going to do some coffees and espresso, like we do in Brigham,” Heaton said. “I think it will give them (Smithfield patrons) a lot more options.”

While nothing’s set in stone at this point, Heaton said they hope to open the Smithfield location at 7 a.m. or before and stay open until about 8 p.m.

Real estate agent Curtis Leishman added a caveat to the expected fall opening — one that’s become familiar during the ongoing construction labor shortage.

“Depends on how well the contractor gets on it,” Leishman said. “It’s kind of tight, these days.”

While there’s been talk of an Old Grist Mill in Smithfield for several years now, the company has bought the old 7-Eleven property and is working on a major renovation to turn the convenience store into a bakery.

Plans right now call for a drive-through window on the north side of the building.

Grants from the Smithfield Redevelopment Agency Fund totaling a little over $160,000 are helping pay for the undertaking.

“We’re going to use the funds to do some facelift on the building, new parking lot, resurface the parking lot and some other things that will spruce it up and make it a little newer,” Heaton said.

About $60,000 of the RDA money was approved when the project was slated for a small parcel at 84 S. Main, just north of the Smithfield city offices. When the 7-Eleven closed last year and Old Grist Mill eventually bought the larger property, the RDA Board agreed to reallocate that funding and later approved an additional sum of a little less than $102,000.

The 7-Eleven stood with OSB sheathing over its front windows for several months after its closure. Now that sheathing is gone, and insulation from the remodel can be seen piled against the windows — a hopeful sign in a tough time for local retail.

staff writer

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