Cooper and Mary Hall spent a good deal of time deciding on what to make of their new business space on Main Street in downtown Grand Junction.
The location at 500 Main St. was available because Cooper's parents, who own Candytime Shoppe, were moving down the street into a bigger location.
They kicked around ideas such as a tasting room or a restaurant, but in December they decided to open a small neighborhood market with a deli and liquor store inside to offer a place to grab a quick meal or get some groceries for home.
Shortly after making the decision, City Market announced it would close its downtown location at 200 Rood Ave., leaving downtown without a grocery store. City Market shuttered in mid-January. Today, the Hog and The Hen is trying to fill some of that void by offering downtowners a place to quickly grab some items such as toiletries or frozen meals. The liquor store operates as a separate business within the Hog and Hen.
And the Halls say that is exactly what many people have done since the business opened Sept. 1.
"We sold out of eggs one day," Mary Hall said.
The store also sells butcher meat such as steak and local seasonings and jams. The store is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day and there is a staff of five in addition to Cooper and Mary. The deli officially opened Sept. 16 and shuts down around 4 p.m. each day. However, Cooper said he may close it early if business dies down or keep it open later if it stays busy.
Cooper said he's received positive feedback so far from customers.
"It's so rewarding to have people in here. It's so cool. We're learning that we make people's day better. People are saying it's exactly what they need downtown," he said. "We want to improve what's going on down here."
Downtown Grand Junction Marketing and Communications Specialist Caitlyn Love said the downtown area was anxiously awaiting the market's opening.
"They serve a need for grab-and-go lunch items, a destination to pick up local and regional wine, beer, and spirits, and they also carry a number of grocery items for residents such as eggs, milk, cheese, and baking ingredients — a void that downtown saw after the closing of City Market," Love said. "We're looking forward to seeing them flourish on the corner of Fifth and Main."
Mary previously told the Daily Sentinel that her uncle came up with the Hog and Hen name. While there are several interpretations, their favorite is an old piece of maritime folklore where sailors would often tattoo a pig and a chicken on their feet. The reasoning is that pigs are afraid of water and chickens can find their own food, so the sailors would be protected from drowning or starving.