‘More variety. More freezer space. More produce’: Porter’s set to move to old Shopko building

PRESIDIO –– The Presidio Porter’s is moving locations to the old Shopko building right at the bend leading into downtown. As the only traditional supermarket in the area, residents are sure to be excited for the new Porter’s in a county that is recognized by the USDA as a food desert. “It’s a better location. It’s a good move for us,” said Trae Dutchover, who is the regional manager for the south stores. “Besides the Dollar Generals, it’s the only grocery store.”

The new Porter’s will be about 26,000 square feet, about the same size as the old one, but is slated for a few upgrades. “More variety. More freezer space. More produce,” Dutchover said. “Everything is going to be brand new.”

“We added 6,000 square foot to the back because there was no backroom in the old Shopko. So we’re adding a backroom so we can put some coolers in,” he said.

And just like the old Porter’s, the new one is set to have gas pumps, but Dutchover said that it’s still too soon to know the details. The same goes for whether there will be any new speciality departments, like a butcher counter, at the store.

Dutchover was willing to confirm that there will be a drive-thru deli window at the new store. “It’ll be right next to the gas station, so if [customers] want to drive by and pick up some chicken, they have that option,” he said.

Porter’s has been running operations at its current location on Erma Avenue since 2008 when they took over Baeza’s Supermarket. “With all the new things going on in Presidio, with the transmigrante stuff, Presidio deserved a new store,” Dutchover said.

Dutchover said that they started transforming the Shopko about two months ago and are still in the early phases of the renovation. “There was no plumbing. We had to add all the plumbing. We’re just in that stage right now,” he said, adding that the construction crew installed steel beams for the new storage space going up in the back of the property on Friday.

Dutchover said that the original plan was to open by the end of the year, yet after struggling to purchase certain construction materials, he isn’t making any promises. “It’s just an uncertainty right now with all the shortage of steel and all the shortage of equipment. The supply chain is really bad right now with steel and refrigeration. Everything is so backed up,” he said.

“I am very happy to see Porter’s move to their new location. I see an improved shopping experience, a great look for visitors coming into town, as well as evidence that Porter’s wants to invest in Presidio,” Mayor John Ferguson said.

“As much as we want to encourage everyone to shop locally, they will do so mainly if they feel they are getting a good deal. That being said, I am hopeful that once shoppers get a chance to check out what the new Porter’s has to offer, it’ll be an easy choice to get your groceries without leaving town.”

Brad Newton, in his role as city administrator, said  “I am happy that Porter’s has purchased the Shopko building and the major remodeling underway for their new home in Presidio. I have seen the blueprints and visited the job site. It’s going to be a really nice place for their customers to shop.”

As for the old Porter’s building, Dutchover said that they plan to shut down the location, leaving the fate of the building on Erma an open question.