Bob Millsap, Store Manager of Lucky’s Market, is certainly one-of-a-kind, and he is excited to be sharing some seriously good food with the town of Jackson. Fun is definitely the “vibe” of Lucky’s, and an idea Bob embodies as he walks the store, high-fiving employees and shouting greetings to someone across the room. Talking with Bob as we roam the store, it’s becoming clear that “fun” seems to be the common denominator for a lot of Bob’s interests.
From his home in Victor, Bob and his wife of 21 years, Shelley, proudly raise their two sons, Dylan and Taylor. “Moving to Jackson has absolutely changed my life. The warm sense of community is like nothing I have ever experienced before,” Bob muses, saying that his favorite place is Jenny Lake in Grand Teton National Park. A lover of Chicken Pad Thai, Bob frequents Thai Me Up, but says that the house-made brats at Lucky’s are tough to beat. When he’s not prepping and polishing his Lucky’s team, Bob can be found behind the microphone, DJing alternative music during his weekly show on KHOL, “The Hole Enchilada,” which airs from 12-3PM each Saturday on 89.1. He gets some help from his 19-year-old son, Dylan, who “shares my passion for alternative music and co-produces the show with me.” Bob can’t help but add: “It’s an AMAZING father-son experience!”
Concerning Lucky’s, Bob explains the simple goal: “It comes down to amazing food at amazing prices,” he says, adding, “We believe that good food is a right, not a luxury.” And indeed, those words are emblazoned on a bright red sign immediately upon entering the new space. It makes sense that Lucky’s, the fastest-growing, privately-owned grocery store chain in America, has found success with this philosophy. Bob points out that, contrary to popular misconception, Lucky’s isn’t a franchise. Although the Market boasts independently owned and operated locations in Montana, Ohio, Missouri, Michigan, Florida, and beyond – in addition to its flagship store in Boulder, Colorado– there’s an immediate and overwhelming feeling of community the moment you walk in the door. That isn’t surprising since Bob himself, 3-year former manager of the Jackson Whole Grocer, says he has worked with about 50 of the roughly 110 employees previously.
Q & A What’s your experience in the food industry business? I was literally born into the business. My dad was a grocer; he owned several supermarkets in Central California and then Western Kentucky. I started working in his stores when I was 12 years old.
Tell us about your path to becoming involved in Lucky’s Markets. I graduated with a BA in Business in 1990 from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. I then helped run my family’s grocery stores until we sold them in 1998. I got into natural foods in 1999 with Wild Oats Markets. I was National Director of Grocery Merchandising at Wild Oats until 2003. Then I was COO of Sunflower Markets. I was an independent consultant when I did a consulting job for the new owner of the Jackson Whole Grocer in 2010. I then moved up here from Glendale, Arizona in February 2011 to run the Whole Grocer (until March of 2014).
Why is the Lucky’s team so special? Much of the management team with Lucky’s worked with me before, both at Wild Oats and Sunflower (which makes working together now a lot of fun!). Lucky’s Market is located at 974 West Broadway in Jackson in the plaza just off the road. Say hello in person, or follow Bob on instagram: @holeenchilada
Images © Taylor Glenn, Illustration by Kelly Halpin.