A camera-toting Channel 7 News cameraman came to the July 8 Wellington Town Board meeting, as did many Wellington residents interested in learning why the shelves of Bella’s Market — the town’s only grocery store — are nearly bare. But Bella’s Market owner, Sam Mancini, who had promised to speak, didn’t show.

The board’s agenda listed Bella’s Market as discussion item under new business and Mancini had agreed to explain to the board exactly what was going on. When the item came up for discussion and Mancini was nowhere in sight, the board postponed discussion until he showed.

With time running out and Mancini missing, at about 9:30 p.m. Brinkhoff shared what he knew of the situation.

He explained that he believed Mancini was in Fort Morgan consulting with bankers in an attempt to avoid bankruptcy. In a conversation with Mancini, Brinkhoff learned that Mancini would consider selling the store.

Wellington resident Chuck Mayhugh said that the current condition of the grocery store was “hurting the town.” He believes the issue needs to be solved immediately.

Trustee Larry Noel said, “The problem is, two stores have failed in that location. The community failed to step up.” He indicated that the past history makes the business tough to sell.

“That’s only part of the story,” Brinkhoff added. He pointed out that Mancini owns grocery stores in several small Colorado communities and all of them appear to be struggling.

In addition to Wellington, Bella’s Markets are located in Akron, Gypsum, Haxtun, Limon, Stratton, Walden and Wiggins.

Community activist Eric Sutherland was critical of county tax breaks that were a part of Mancini’s purchase of the real estate.

“His failure to appear speaks loud,” Trustee Travis Harless noted.

Channel 7 News left without a story to tell.

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7 Responses to Bella’s owner a no-show at Wellington Town Board

  1. Jaclyn Allen says:

    Your story on the Bella’s controversy is strangely inaccurate in that the 7NEWS photographer and reporter indeed had a story to tell — the latest in a series of reports we have done about Bella’s. It aired at 10pm that night. Here it is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1yewjdbQtWQ

    • NFN says:

      Thanks Jaclyn. We kept checking your website for the report, but didn’t see it. I think you did a report last week on Haxtun, too, but not on the website. Can you add those?

  2. Roni says:

    “Trustee Larry Noel said, “The problem is, two stores have failed in that location. The community failed to step up.” He indicated that the past history makes the business tough to sell.” It’s pretty hard for the community to “step up” and support a grocery store when there are NO GROCERIES!!!

  3. Ron Goldberg says:

    I find it insulting that Larry Noel has tried to place blame for the market’s failure at the feet of his own constituents. Give people a store worth patronizing and they will shop there it’s just that simple.

  4. Jim Hauter says:

    Larry Noel, did Mancini influence you to make such a ridiculous and inaccurate statement? Bella’s has been a poor excuse for a grocery store from day one and even so I think this community has tried to stay loyal. We need to revoke Bella’s tax breaks and strongly encourage Mancini to sell. Then court a reputable grocer that can see our potential while in turn providing quality product on well stocked shelves.

  5. Eric C. says:

    I agree with all the comments above. As a new home owner in Wellington (1.5 yrs) I have continually been underwhelmed by Bella’s from day one. It has only gotten worse since. We should court a grocer like Sprouts because the prices at Bella’s are too high for poor selection. I am driving an extra 30min per trip to shop at Sprouts in Ft Collins for better product and selection at not much higher prices. It is time to stop giving Bella’s a break on taxes while they are contributing nothing back to the community. BTW I made my last trip I will ever make to Bella’s tonight trying to get a last minute grocery item that they did not have on their shelves. But I did find what I needed at Family Dollar which appears to more groceries on it’s shelves. On a better note, I have found the staff at Good Day Pharmacy to be very helpful and the pharmacy well managed.

  6. We are very appreciative of your comment Eric. Thank you for allowing our Colorado local business the opportunity to serve you better. We have shared your comment with Liz, Pharmacy Manager, and her staff at our Wellington Good Day Pharmacy as a sincere thank you for their excellent work.