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A Decade of Marczyk's

posted Apr 2, 2012, 11:11 AM by C J

Your World Class Neighborhood Market


For immediate release;

Contact Barbara Macfarlane. 303 894-9499, or Peter Marczyk. 303 894-9499.


One Delicious Decade!

Marczyk Fine Foods rocks out 10 years in the Denver grocery business.


Denver, CO – On a spring day ten years ago Pete Marczyk, with his three month old son in his arms, unlocked the doors of Marczyk Fine Foods and welcomed his first customer.

Ten years ago, a shop like Marczyk’s did not exist in Denver. A family-run full service grocery, with an in-house butcher, grocery products not seen before, and cheeses from around the world. In planning Marczyk’s, Pete wondered “are their enough people out there who remembered what grocery shopping used to be like?” A small shop where the butcher knows your name, and as we like to say “ not everything…but everything you need.” Yes there were delis and smaller grocery stores, but nothing quite like Marczyk’s.

In 2002, the big grocers were building even bigger stores, creating giant food meccas for America's foodies. (Whole Foods had just opened in Cherry Creek, and Marczyk’s might fit in their produce section.) Would shoppers support a grocer who only sells food, no paper products or household cleaners? Would they support a grocer whose freezer section was only 5 feet x 2 feet? Who tried to source locally, and in season? The answer was maybe for the first few difficult years. Customers did not quite understand us, many people did not think we would make it and said so. One competing grocer even offered to buy us out!  Now it’s an enthusiastic yes, and Marczyk’s has enough support to open store #2.

Knowing Marczyk’s could not just be a subset of any other grocery store, Pete, along with his brother Paul and wife Barbara, created a unique mix of products that taste the best, and have a story to tell. Our sourcing ethos has been the biggest differentiator. Marczyk’s was (and still is) the only grocer in the nation to fill the meat case with only Niman Ranch, and not a second “value” line. He searched the world for pasta companies who still cut their noodles using brass dies, or Irish cheese makers working from 100 year-old recipes. Locally, Marczyk’s found Colorado companies that bottle (in glass bottles) un-homogenized cream-top milk; family egg farmers, and a Bennett CO heritage turkey breeder.

“Sustainability in our sources is very important to us, and the way to keep these farmers around is to buy their product for a fair price,” states Pete.  “Sustainability is also in finding and training an enthusiastic staff in open book finance For Marczyk Fine Foods to continue to add neighborhood markets to more neighborhoods, we have to provide great ingredients, have excellent service, and continue to be ‘Your world class neighborhood market.’”

Pete’s idea for Marczyk’s has gone hand in hand with American’s desire to know where their food comes from. Every meat recall (the last one being 6 days ago makes shoppers wonder about their food. Movies like Food, Inc., and Supersize me brought the food industry to light for thousands of people. Writer Michael Pollan went from a small but passionate readership to a spot on the Oprah show. Even “pink slime”, known only to the industry, has grabbed headline news. There are still miles to go in bringing healthy food to the masses, and here’s proof:

·      300 farmers leave their land every week.

·      In 1960, Americans spent 17.5% of their income on food, and 5.2% on healthcare. Today, they spend 9.9% on food and 16% on healthcare.

·      It’s estimated that 97% of pigs raised for meat are raised in confinement.

·      80% of all antibiotics used in the US are used for livestock. A recent ruling may change that:


But there’s good news too. “More and more people are embracing what Marczyk’s has to offer,” says Pete.  “We’ll continue to make inroads into Denver neighborhoods, bringing food with a story that tastes great to your ‘hood!”


One Delicious Decade Weekend Celebration.

2012 Inaugural Burger Night

When: Friday night, April 27, 5:00pm-7:30pm (weather permitting). Burger Night at Marczyk’s says here comes summer, and this year it says that at the 17th Ave location and on Colfax!

What: Niman Ranch burgers, fresh ground at Marczyk’s, served on fresh City Bakery brioche buns.  Bring the family, join the Friday night scene, and enjoy the best burger in Denver. 
Where: At both markets: 770 East 17th Ave, and 5100 East Colfax Ave.
How much: $6.99 for the burger and all the fixin’s: bun, lettuce, tomato, red onion, cheese, and condiments including our signature bacon aioli. Burger night will continue every Friday, weather permitting, until it gets too cold and/or dark.

Customer Appreciation

Saturday, April 28, 8am-8pm. Thank you Denver! Take advantage of our storewide discount of 10% off everything. Marczyk Fine Wines and Fairfax Wine & Spirits are included in the celebration too, with 10% off everything in the shop. “The Best Wines You’ve Never Heard Of” just got better.


Other Marczyk news for the year:

Almost due east of Marczyk Fine Foods, Marczyk’s on Colfax opened in August and serves the Park Hill, Mayfair, Bellevue-Hale, Hilltop, and even the Stapleton neighborhoods.  At the corner of Colfax and Fairfax, Marczyk’s is located in a 6500 Sq. ft. building, which was originally a Safeway in the 1930’s. You’ll find a full-service deli, meat and seafood counter, fresh produce, pantry items, dairy, and cheeses from stinky to mild. Parking and outdoor seating too. Fairfax Wines and Spirits occupies 875 sq. ft. of the new building. The new store employees 30 people. The address and phone are: 5100 E Colfax. Corner of Colfax and Fairfax, Denver, CO 80220. 303 243-3355.



Are you concerned about being located so close to the existing store?

Not at all. Back in the 30’s and 40’s (before grocery stores got to be 60,000 sq. ft.) Safeway stores were located as close as 12 blocks from each other. Customers would shop for the day, not the month, and many would walk. We think this way of shopping is returning: urban grocery shoppers travel an average of only 3 miles for their shopping, vs. 7 miles for a suburban shopper.


Coming out of one of America’s worst recessions, what gave you the confidence to expand?

The recession told us a few things about our customers. We believe our customers shop here because they want great tasting food. We think many Denverites stayed home and cooked during 2009 and 2010, and realized they could find really great ingredients here at Marczyk’s. They liked the taste and the value, so they’ve kept shopping with us.


Why Colfax?

Marczyk Fine Foods is an urban market. We need high street visibility, parking, and dense surrounding neighborhoods.  Choosing this location is not urban infill, it’s more a return back to what made Main St. desirable in the first place: traffic, both pedestrian and vehicular. A supportive community.  Plus, Colfax is Denver’s Main St.


Other articles of interest:


Pete Marczyk will explain why $.99 pork is no deal! Shopping sustainably.


Fairfax Wine & Spirits tasting!


Marczyk’s is Cool!


Jimmy the Butcher gets ready to win Denver’s Cochon Competition.


Art Meets Beast at Denver’s MCA. Buffalo boys go ‘round and  ‘round.


Fair trade takes off.


Chipotle steals the show.