Rob and Julie Pieper, owners of the popular Estes Park restaurant, Poppy's Pizza & Grill have always known their restaurant stood on the original location of the old Brodie's Supermarket. The small-town grocery store which was known for their bakery and butcher shop, operated in the river side location from 1956 - 1987. The Piepers also knew that somewhere within the current restaurant stood authentic walls of the supermarket building, however it took a wild act of nature to literally uncover the past and present a unique opportunity to honor the Brodie's legacy.
After the flooding of September 2013, Poppy's Pizza & Grill was left with extensive damage, requiring a complete remodel of the interior of the restaurant. As drywall was coming down and carpet was being ripped up, a discovery from the past emerged. A cinderblock wall with a white concrete veneer, peeked out from behind wet drywall. It was one of the original walls from the old Brodie's Supermarket building! Rob and Julie instantly knew they wanted to incorporate the history of the location into the redesign of the restaurant but unfortunately the wall wasn't in the proper condition to use as-is. Rob described how meaningful it was to honor the past in this way, "we have always felt a kinship and connection with the Brodie's Supermarket legacy." It was then they decided to contract a local artist to paint a mural inside the restaurant inspired by Brodie's Supermarket.
The legacy of Brodie's Supermarket is one of fond memories and lasting impressions throughout Estes Park and beyond. Even today, people speak highly of the Brodie family and the welcoming environment of the full-service market. The locally-owned business was known for delivering groceries to those who couldn't make it out, letting customers run tabs, and pay whenever they could, they even started the tradition of distributing pumpkins to children during Halloween. The Halloween tradition continues today, as Estes Park school children each receive a pumpkin from the The Rotary Club of Estes Park. For travelers to Estes Park, guests recall the anticipation of making their first stop in Estes Park at Brodie's to pick up groceries before heading to their campsite or motel.
It was an easy choice for the Piepers to commission local artist, Michael Young to bring these memories back to life through the mural. Michael has a connection to Brodie's, as he grew up in Estes Park and has fond memories of the Brodie family. He did research, even stopping by the Estes Park Museum to view the original Brodie's Supermarket sign that is archived in storage. The whole mural took about 10 hours to complete, most of the work done while diners watched Michael paint. Rob describes how guests were delighted to see the mural in the process of being painted, "people loved to be part of it," he said.
Poppy's Pizza & Grill re-opened, better than ever in November and is alive with stories of by-gone memories of Brodie's Supermarket. As guests of Poppy's Pizza see the mural, heartwarming memories resurface and they begin to reminisce, telling tales of the kindness and generosity Mr. Brodie bestowed upon everyone he had touched over the years. As Poppy's Pizza & Grill embarks on the next chapter of their history in Estes Park, Rob reflects on the connection they share with the old supermarket, "we hope to respect the legacy and do just a portion of the good they have done for the community." Rob and Julie are continuing to gather Brodie's Supermarket stories and are inviting everyone to share their Brodie's memories on the Poppy's Pizza Facebook page. Stop in and say hello, visit Rob and Julie's Estes Park Restaurants the next time you are in the village. Visit the "Brodie's Wall" at Poppy's Pizza and Grill and see the beautifully remodeled Mama Rose's Italian Restaurant right next door.