An interview with Denise Barcomb, co-owner
What made you decide to get into the business of food & drink?
I’ve been around the restaurant business for many years and the convenience store business for about 20 years before opening UM. UM is a return to neighborhood, community, and people. When we were growing up there were no big box stores, no mega-supermarkets, and no online ordering. We visited our local neighborhood grocer who knew everything about us and our family, and who had everything we needed for groceries. It was personal, welcoming, and a part of belonging. In today’s fast-paced world, people don’t have a social gathering place to sit and enjoy themselves and friends. We wanted to create that space where we know our friends and neighbors and they know us, so we have created an experiential shopping destination where quality, service and value matter almost as much as our guests.
I moved to Reno 20+ years ago following a high-tech career. Met my now husband of 19 years who moved here in 1976. We have immersed ourselves in the community and couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. Nevada is and has been our home for many years. Reno is a unique and special town that offers so much for those who embrace it. Downtown has needed to change and we are proud to be a part of that by bringing our much needed market to life.
Why are you excited for Reno Restaurant Week?
We are excited for Reno Restaurant week to start the process of bringing joy and fun back to our city. What better way to uncover all the culinary gems around town and enjoy some great food.
What is one thing you’d like guests to know about you and/or your establishment?
We are not just any market. We are a social gathering place, a place to shop, a place to hold events, and soon with the addition of the deli, we will be able to offer catering and delivery. We offer over 2,000 products from traditional groceries to specialty items, to gourmet gift baskets, and over 50 local vendor brands. We have the best beer cave downtown and our wine selection boasts over 120 different labels. And we are always adding more!
How are you complying with safety guidelines for COVID-19?
Our cleanliness standards have always been exceptional. We continue to clean the interior environment rigorously, and in response to COVID-19, we added a C-19 specific sanitizer for surface cleaning. We wear masks and recently added floor stickers to help remind people to practice social distancing. Gloves are optional because we are always washing hands but gloves are available too. We also added hand sanitizer in store for customers.