From healthy food to exceptional employer practices Raglin Market hopes to hit all the high notes. The new eatery, slated to open on the corner of Gunbarrel Center Court and Lookout Road this August, will be partnering with local food producers to offer the freshest food. They also intend to provide a uniquely supportive work environment for their crew.
Director of Operations Kevin Hartmann describes the new restaurant as fast and casual, and then even a step higher. Diners start out ordering at a counter, but servers take it from there so there will be no need to stand in line again.
Founder and owner Matthew Jansen opened Boulder’s Mateo Restaurant on Pearl Street more than 16 years ago. The highly experienced restaurateur and master sommelier is now venturing into the everyday eating scene.
Raglin Market will more closely mirror his present life stage; that of a father who promotes a strong sense of community and pays homage to his roots. Jansen was given his present last name when he was adopted, but the connection to his original surname, Raglin, is still strong.
Hartmann, a trained chef, has been the general manager of Avery Brewery in Gunbarrel for the past two years and was instrumental in helping Snooze Restaurant open six of its locations.
Raglin Market’s tagline is “Farmer Fresh,” which hints that lunch and dinner options will rotate seasonally based on what is accessible. Sandwiches, salads, a collection of sides and desserts will be featured. A sample menu lists a plentitude of fresh produce combined with an assortment of meats and seafood, and a variety of ethnic twists, vegetarian and create-your-own possibilities.
“Matthew and I have been chefs for quite some time and we’re putting our effort into the food and where it’s sourced,” Hartmann said. “So the majority of our food will come from within 50 miles of our location.”
Raglin’s take on alcoholic beverages will be very distinctive. It’s a keg system that will serve made-in-house pre-mixed cocktails — a method new to this area but popular on either coast Hartmann said. There will also be world-class wines designed exclusively for Raglin Market by Italian vintner Giorgio Rivetti.
In the name of convenience, a mobile takeout ordering app is in the works and business lunches will be served efficiently — lunch specials under $20 in less than 20 minutes is the goal.
Initially, hours will be Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. with extended hours on Friday and Saturday nights.
Raglin Market will be joining two other restaurants on Gunbarrel Center’s main street - Proto’s Pizzeria Napoletana and the soon to be opened, Bittersweet Café - /pôr / wine house.
“We’ve all been in great communication with each other,” Hartmann said of the management of the three restaurants. “And it’s a goal of ours to turn that area into a community and, eventually down the road, to have Friday music nights where we all open our doors and people can come in, order some food, walk around, enjoy the music and turn that area into a really sought out space. “
Hartmann has a certificate in human resources from Villanova University. That combined with his 10 years of restaurant management experience compel him to create a strong crew of employees for this new endeavor. They will be hiring 20 employees whom they intend to care for in a way that promotes high morale, long term retention and allows the workers to support themselves well.
“Most of our time now is going toward a really great benefit program for our employees. It’s something I’ve seen at multiple places that brought my interest in the restaurant industry from just a job to being a career. Matthew and I would like to focus on putting together something that’s not just benefits themselves, but also a positive work environment that will provide our employees with an investment in their future.“
To that end, they will have a quarterly wellness program that has advisors talk to employees about their finances and health. Raglin Market will be providing employees with health insurance, an eco-pass for the bus, and benefits such as a 401K with matching funds.They’re also looking closely at ways to offer a tipping and pay structure that will be fair to all workers.
“We want to evolve with the times and make this an interesting place to train at and work,” Hartmann said. “I’d like to crosstrain our worker so they can serve, work at the register, and be making the sandwiches and salads so that everyone can help each other out. We want to start a new norm in the restaurant industry, and create a real sense of teamwork for the front and the back of the house.”
With Jansen and Hartmann’s passion for serving great fare, attentive, efficient customer service, and their focus on assuring that employees are well cared for, it’s understandable that after the first Raglin Market is up and running, their intentions are to open multiple locations throughout Colorado.