Bashas’ Diné Market opened the doors this week to its newly remodeled store in Window Rock, Arizona, with a store blessing, remarks from Navajo Nation VP Jonathan Nez, and a performance from Roxyanne Harvey, a traditional Navajo singer.
“From the moment shoppers step through the doors, they are welcomed by the new look and feel of the store,” said Corrine Mitchell, Bashas’ Window Rock store director and member of the Navajo Nation. “Our goal was not only to honor the community through traditional Navajo décor, colors, signage and local artwork, but deliver a larger selection of healthy, easy-to-identify food options.”
As part of the opening celebration, the store distributed free fruits and vegetables to shoppers, along with samples of coconut water. It also has given away grocery bags and raffled off gift baskets with healthy food items inside, and from Friday to Sunday, the store will offer a 10 percent discount to all active duty, reserve and retired military personnel—along with a Bashas’ “Thank You” card.
“Window Rock’s newly remodeled Bashas’ Diné Market is a testament to our company’s commitment to serve the people of the Navajo Nation,” said Johnny Basha, SVP of special projects for Bashas’ Family of Stores. “We continually work with Navajo Nation leadership and local organizations to bring new ideas and offerings to our stores. We are especially proud of the store’s expanded selection of healthy food options, and our new ‘Diné Healthy’ program.”
The remodeled Diné Market offers a variety of nutritious and convenient foods for shoppers who want to make healthier food choices. Organic and healthy food items have been added throughout the store. In addition, Diné Healthy shelf-tags and aisle signage will help shoppers easily identify better-for-you foods, so they can ultimately make healthier food decisions, says Bashas’. Many of these healthy food items are located in prime locations at the center and front of the store. The store also features a new energy bar section, an organic snack area and a bigger variety of teas and healthy drinks.
Additionally, the Window Rock grocery store is now home to the first Starbucks on the Navajo Nation. Starbucks Manager Sasha Gilmore is fluent in Navajo, and her team already has started serving up customized creations from the coffee brand for the Navajo Nation’s coffee and tea aficionados.
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In addition, the store’s deli department has new deli steam tables with fresh meal options; open deli cases; more ovens; and an increased selection of healthy food offerings. The wall deli cases hold a variety of new items, including everything from cold cuts and cheeses to dips and spreads. Shoppers also will notice a new warmer display that will hold rotisserie chickens, turkey, meatloaf, cooked mutton and pork. The remodeled meat department offers an expanded selection of meat, pork and chicken. The store also will grill mutton and hamburgers on the weekends, which will be available fresh in the deli.
The store’s produce department has expanded to include new wet racks and dry cases, giving shoppers access to a larger variety of fruits and vegetables, including organic options.
Bashas’ Diné Market also has renovated its frozen foods department, which features new door cases and a variety of frozen meat options, and frozen foods for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The bakery also has some updated features, including new cases.
See more photos of the event here.
More than food
In addition to its expanded food offerings, the store also launched its first Dickies apparel section, as well as a variety of bulk- and value-priced items, including detergents, dog food, wood pellets and more.
The Window Rock Diné Market also prominently displays 21 pieces of art from local Navajo artists. The featured artists include: Baje Whitethorne, a Reed clan member who is known for colorful landscapes depicting the Navajo Reservation, as well as portraits of his people; Larry Yazzie, whose sculpture works of women symbolizing strength are highly sought after by collectors; and trailblazer artist Oreland Joe, whose work captures his Ute and Navajo heritage.
Since opening its first Diné Market 35 years ago, Bashas’ says it has been a collaborative member of the Navajo Nation, supporting education, nutrition, art, health and wellness through community programs and partnerships. At least 95 percent of the employees at Bashas’ Diné Markets are Native American, and each store location gives back a percentage of its profits to the Navajo Nation.
Bashas’ is one of few non-Native American retailers with stores on the Navajo Nation. In 1982, Bashas’ opened its first reservation store in Chinle; followed by Tuba City in 1983; Kayenta in 1985; Window Rock in 1989; Crownpoint, New Mexico, in 1990; Pinon in 1993; and Dilkon in 2002. An eighth store in Sanders is anticipated to open in 2018. Bashas’ also operates three other stores on other Native American reservations across Arizona.
“We continue to invest in our Bashas’ Diné Markets as part of our commitment to serving the Navajo Nation,” said Basha. “We have supported health and wellness education for years, and are dedicated to promoting a variety of food options for a healthier lifestyle.”