Harmons City Creek
Harmons City Creek, a beautiful new store built in 2012, is an icon in the heart of downtown Salt Lake City, Utah. Harmons is the first grocery store of its kind to open in the business district of the city, which naturally makes it a main shopping destination for its urban clients. Previous to the store’s construction, Decorworx worked closely with the store’s architecture firm, Prescott Muir, for several years to achieve a cohesive design for the store. The design team at Decorworx undertook the task to show Harmons’ guests, through décor, that grocery shopping is not a mundane task, but rather an extraordinary experience.
The main goal for Harmons was essentially to tell their story through décor. The design team had to decide on a creative way to incorporate their people and their products into the décor to achieve this goal. The store also needed to meet the expectations of City Creek Center, the nearby luxury shopping center that the area is known for. Grocery stores in San Francisco were studied to help obtain ideas for Harmons décor, which needed to fit the local flair of Salt Lake City and promote an upscale shopping experience for customers.
The décor of Harmons placed a strong emphasis on people, food and service. “We are in the people business. We just happen to sell groceries.” is spelled out boldly in stainless letters over a spacious entrance wall. In order to overcome the challenge of defining the multi-story store and dark concrete walls, small, custom designed glass globes, were suspended from the vast ceiling to provide a soft, comfortable glow and an upscale mood. Warm earth tones were chosen as the backdrop for the decor to allow the products and employees to take center stage. A professional photoshoot for Harmons’ people and products helped capture photos that were used throughout the store to share Harmons’ passion for good food and service. The store’s rich, local history was told through a simple timeline, displayed by the entrance and seating area where locals often enjoy a quick bite of fresh sushi or authentic Italian gelato.
Harmons’ chalk art was a finishing touch to the store’s decor. This is not the chalk art formerly seen on window displays, but rather a menagerie of creativity and artistic brilliance. Harmons has always felt strongly about educating their guests about their products, which is why they hired their own in-house artist, who can often be seen on the store floor working on his latest chalk art signs. Custom metal floor stands were welded to reflect the organic shapes found throughout the City Creek shopping center, are the artist’s canvas. This artistic flair is a key design element adding to the urban vibe of the store. In an extra effort to show that Harmons cares about the community, they created a place for their customers to hang up their bikes as well as a Café that allowed them to enjoy a bite to eat while they shop. Harmons wanted their store to be a “destination”. They provided rooms for customers to hold meetings, lunch, etc.
When customers arrive at Harmons City Creek, they know they are in a unique grocery store when they enjoy the plush seating areas, local artwork and a cozy fireplace. Harmons City Creek will be a landmark on the Salt Lake City landscape for many years to come.