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Ridley’s Family Market based in Twin Falls, Idaho has purchased Bella’s Markets in Wellington and Gypsum, Colo. Ridley’s restocked the Wellington store starting Nov. 6. That’s good news for Wellington residents.
The pickings have been so slim at Bella’s lately that members of the Wellington Fire Department, accustomed to shopping for their meals at the store, have begun shopping in Fort Collins during their off hours in order to get the ingredients they need. “Fire crews are responsible for their own meals while on duty,” Fire Chief Gary Green said. He doesn’t like to see the firefighters shopping outside Wellington but said that recently they’ve had no choice.
Green was pleased to learn of the sale of Bella’s and will encourage his fire crews to patronize the store once again. “Along with every other member of the community, I’m excited to see an improved store and I look forward to seeing upgrades in the meat and produce areas,” Green said. I’m a big supporter of the success of any business that decides to locate in Wellington.”
“Absolutely, I’ll shop locally,” Trudy Patterson of Wellington’s Senior Center said, echoing the preference of several local residents who have been affected by the lack of items available at Bella’s Market, Wellington’s only grocery store. “But the store needs to have a good selection and reasonable prices.” Patterson said she has seen some items at Bella’s priced two or three dollars higher than what she can buy them for in Fort Collins. The Senior Center has been operating a bus that takes seniors into Fort Collins, making it easier for them to fulfill their grocery shopping needs.
The men who live at Harvest Farm often shop in Wellington for incidental items. What they are unable to find at Bella’s is sometimes available at The Dollar Store. The Farm provides transportation to these locations once or twice a week when the work day is over.
Wellington resident Tara Neckel who will soon open a local brewery with her husband, said she has tried shopping at Bella’s. “They haven’t had the organic produce I like to buy so I shop elsewhere,” she said. Her first choice would be to shop locally, but for now, that is not possible. Other Wellingtonites have expressed similar sentiments.
Wellington resident Janet Gabbert works in Fort Collins and is in the habit of shopping at King Soopers because it is convenient for her and meets all her needs. Her husband, Mark Gabbert, organizer of the Wellington Food Bank, supports shopping locally and looks forward to a new beginning for the local market.