Dierbergs Market in Des Peres opens to rave reviews
By: Kate Uptergrove
For Connor Walsh and T.J. Chulick it was the lure of Krispy Kreme donuts, sold by Dierbergs Market, that got them out of bed at 5 a.m. and across the street to wait for the 8:30 a.m. opening of the new Dierberg’s Market on Manchester on July 31.
“We planned it about a week ago,” Walsh said of their decision to be among the first customers of the long-awaited market.
“We live just across the street,” Walsh said. “So we thought it would be cool.”
Noting the nearness of their homes to the construction zone, Chulick noted that the construction traffic was bothersome. But minor traffic congestion seems to have been the worst of it.
“I just complimented HBD (Construction) on the outstanding job they did,” noted Nathaniel Walsh, Connor’s father. “Every morning, they’d have crews out here picking up trash and making sure the perimeter of the property was free of debris.”
Living directly across Lindemann from the new store, this commitment to being a good neighbor was important to N. Walsh and something he said Dierberg’s exhibited from day one. He pointed across the street to the gate that keeps drivers from using his subdivision as a turn-around.
“That gate is the result of Dierberg’s working with neighbors to address their concerns,” he said.
“We just want to be an integral part of the community,” said company president, Greg Dierberg when asked about his hopes for the new store. “We’re hoping to make this an event center.”
On a personal note, Dierberg said his favorite thing about the store is that he can’t find one favorite thing and he hopes customers feel the same way.
Local shopper Jennifer Breeding has already found her favorite thing – an old friend named Three French Hens.
“I’ve been shopping at Three French Hens in Wildwood for years,” Breeding said. “I just love the style of everything in the store. Most of the accessories in my home are from Three French Hens.”
The addition of a mini Three French Hens boutique is not the only innovation at the new store.
The Evening Tap, a customer lounge on the store’s mezzanine level will offer wine by the glass and bottled beer from 5:30 -8:30 p.m. daily, as well as live music on Friday and Saturday.
For customers who might be in the need for some medical care and advice along with their groceries, St. Luke’s Convenient Care is onsite with an in-store facility staffed by nurse practitioners to treat minor illnesses and injuries. The center is open Monday-Saturday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Linda Hayden, St. Luke’s director of urgent care, said that the center can treat minor illnesses and injuries and perform simple tests such as strep screens.
She said the convenience of the center is such that: “You’re in Dierbergs and you think you should go see someone about that earache you’ve been having.”
Customers also can stop by the Convenient Care center anytime to get a free blood pressure check.
Kathy Williams, visiting from Boston, Mass., found the new Dierbergs to be “wonderful.”
“It’s a lot like Wegman’s, but I think the quality here is better,” she said, noting the available brands and amenities.
One of the unique features of the three-level store is its under-the-store parking garage and its “cartolator,” a cart conveyor that moves customer carts from the main level to the garage. Traditional escalators and a large, cart-friendly elevator carry passengers between the levels.
“Prior to our store, cartolators could not accommodate a bottom cart shelf for large packages,” said Dierbergs President Greg Dierberg. “That’s a huge inconvenience for customers. We’re now the first supermarket in the U.S. that has a bottom shelf cart that can be used on a conveyor.”
In addition to customer convenience, the protected parking allowed Dierbergs to dedicate approximately 23 percent of its acreage (the store sits on 6.5 acres) to landscaped green space.
Rainwater will be held in a rainwater harvesting tank (or cistern) and will be used to irrigate grass and landscaping elements on the property. The cistern is 67-feet long, 10-feet wide and 10-feet deep. It holds 45,000 gallons of water.
Regular store hours are Monday through Saturday, 5 a.m-midnight and Sunday from 5 a.m.-11 p.m.