We’ve been extremely excited about our partnership with Oryana Natural Foods Market. Over the past six years, we’ve worked together to make smart changes each time the store grew. The newest expansion, which will be unveiled later this spring, is just another step in a long-term process that has help Oryana meet the interest, demands and support from its customers and community.

Here in Traverse City, Michigan, locals know Oryana as the go-to place for local, sustainable, and environmentally-friendly options for groceries and more. The co-op has been around since 1973, and its changes through the decades have always been mindful of being prepared for the next step. That awareness is an important part of any organization’s longevity, and we’re honored to be a part of it.

Of course, right along with looking toward the future and the big picture comes an attention to detail, and the Keen Team really enjoyed finding opportunities to improve efficiency at Oryana. One of the welcoming aspects of the store is the well-lit, warm aisles and bright refrigerator cases. An appealing display is an integral part of any retail setting, but it’s also an opportunity. We replaced the lighting fixtures in the the fridges to LEDs, which put off much less heat than traditional light bulbs. Not only is the bulb itself more efficient, but it reduces the amount of energy needed in the fridge itself to offset the heat of the bulb! We also introduced more efficient motors in the refrigerators to operate on less energy. Neat!

These items and plenty more are all combining for bigger, more shopper-friendly west end of the store. We’ll increase the space by about 700 square feet, with the highlight being a roomy lounge for the cafe, plus a sizeable and dedicated space for Oryana’s famous hot bar! The current cafe space will also get a new coffee counter that shifts foot traffic closer to the lounge. That’s also good news for shoppers, as the move opens up more shelving space for even more sustainable, healthy food options.

It’s been around ten years since Oryana’s last expansion, and the constantly-changing construction environment has allowed us to introduce some new materials that reduce the environmental impact of such a project. We’ve sourced things that add up to greatly reduce the use of petroleum products, like paint with extremely low oil content that will still last for decades. These are the efforts that reflect the mission and outlook of Oryana and of the community that supports Oryana as partners. It’s a co-op, and it’s that togetherness that allows for growth, improvement, and progress, but never at the expense of our core values.

And as always, we’ve kept the next phase in mind with this project. Oryana is looking at solar paneling, and while it hasn’t been deemed feasible for 2017, we know it’s only a matter of time before its implemented. We’ve opted to use structural insulated panels- or SIPs- for the the roofing. These panels are far more efficient that traditional materials in thermal insulation, and keep Oryana in a position to introduce solar panels at any point in the SIPs lifecycle. When it’s time, Oryna will be ready.

Oryana is committed to lowering energy consumption and making their building more efficient. KEEN is excited to play a part in helping make this happen. Recent projects include new exterior LED lighting in the parking lot and on the buildings exterior, ECM motors in 20 refrigeration cases, door heater controls, and LED lights in the refrigeration cases. With some great new projects in the works. At this stage, Keen has help lower and offset the buildings energy consumption to the equivalent of removing 59.2 Tons of CO2 from the atmosphere.