Mike’s Organic

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Architect

Mark Kroeckel, Jimena Murillo and Juan Ortiz Ramirez of Openshop

Client

Mike's Organic

Location

Cos Cob, Connecticut

Date of completion

April 2023

Background

Connecticut-based Mike's Organic, an online marketplace selling produce from local farmers via online orders with local pick-up and delivery, opened their flagship market in a former International House of Pancakes (IHOP) building in the Cos Cob neighborhood of Greenwich, CT. Creatives sought to make the space feel warm and welcoming and amenable to highlight the goods for sale.

Mike’s Organic occupies a freestanding building that was previously an IHOP that many Cos Cob residents have fond memories of visiting

Who’s the architect?

Designers in charge of Mike's Organic include Mark Kroeckel, Jimena Murillo and Juan Ortiz Ramirez of Openshop, an agency founded in New York City in 2001.

A line of color temperature selectable linear pendant lights by Alcon Lighting runs the length of Mike’s Organic store, providing soft, general lighting

Who’s the lighting designer and specifier?

Openshop’s team designed and specified the lights. “From concept to contract, we apply our strategic thinking framework to the world of architecture and interior design,” interior designer Jimena Murillo said in a statement. “Our user-centric design portfolio ranges from fast casual restaurant chains to multi-level houses (and everything in between). We engage with clients to utilize the correct design tools in order to create solutions specific to our clients’ needs.”

What’s the project location?

600 East Putnam Avenue in Cos Cob, Connecticut.

Openshop used indirect lighting to emphasize the original wood ceiling of the Mike’s Organic building

Who’s the client?

Mike's Organic started as an online marketplace that sourced products from local farmers and made them easily accessible to the community around them by allowing customers to place online orders and offering local pick-up and delivery. Mike’s Organic opened a new store, which serves as an educational and community hub, bringing farmers and customers together.

 Openshop used Alcon Lighting LED Track Lights to highlight signage and products in the store, which can also be adjusted to light in-store events

What was the lighting design goal for this project?

“To make the space feel warm and welcoming and still be able to highlight the goods on sale,” Openshop’s Murillo said.

What was the lighting challenge?

Murillo points out that grocery stores are often bright but generic—and not always inviting. “We wanted to achieve a sense of familiarity, a space where everyone would feel welcomed and comfortable, inviting customers to spend time in the store and explore different products,” she said. They sought to accomplish this without compromising product displays and store functionality of the store. “Lighting had to be flexible to accommodate various store layouts and happenings,” she said.

Openshop’s lighting goal with Mike’s Organic was to create a warm, welcoming environment that invites customers to spend time exploring products
Openshop used Alcon Lighting recessed can lights and disk lights to light products with cove lighting to accent the architectural ceiling structure

Which Alcon Lighting products did you use and how did they help you achieve the desired outcome?

Ortiz, Kroeckel and Murillo opted for a wide range of Alcon Lighting’s finest lights, including recessed, cylinder and track lighting. “Alcon Lighting offers a variety of fixture colors and temperature options,” Murillo said. “Versatility makes Alcon Lighting the perfect choice for a project like Mike's Organic.”

2.75-inch Color Temperature/Directional Switch LED Pendant Light

This linear pendant provides up to 3500 lumens of downlight and 1500 lumens of uplight with a field-adjustable directional switch and 3000K/3500K/4000K color temperature switch.

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Architectural 2.5-inch Cylinder LED Track Light

This LED track light head is compatible across all connector types and features a built-in color temperature switch that easily transitions light between 3000K, 3500K, and 4000K to suit any ambiance.

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Openshop’s lighting goal with Mike’s Organic was to create a warm, welcoming environment that invites customers to spend time exploring products

“We wanted to achieve a sense of familiarity, a space where everyone would feel welcomed and comfortable, inviting customers to spend time in the store and explore different products.”

What was the overall goal of the space? How did you go about achieving the client's vision?

“Mike's Organic is housed in an iconic building that has been around for generations,” Openshop’s designer said. “Most people in the area have fond memories of going to [an International House of Pancakes] IHOP in this same location some years back. We wanted to keep the essence of the building to evoke nostalgia but also give it a new, deserving personality.”

Murillo said that the former IHOP building was “stripped to its bare bones. One of the attractive features was its original wood ceiling. We used indirect lighting to emphasize this feature [to] create soft general lighting and make the space feel more open. We then used track lighting and downlights to emphasize certain areas and products. The outcome was a welcoming market that can accommodate display changes and a variety of events and happenings.”

4-inch LED Flanged Recessed Light

This damp-location rated can light provides a soft glow and warm ambiance while maintaining a strong lumen performance. It's an ideal option for commercial and high-end residential applications.

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Openshop used Alcon Lighting recessed can lights and disk lights to light products with cove lighting to accent the architectural ceiling structure

What are some unique considerations when designing for Mike’s Organic?

“The space is primarily a food market. However, the intent was to have flexibility to be able to constantly accommodate events, new featured products, seasonal happenings and occasional outdoor farmers markets, among other activities.”

Insights blog logo

When it comes to lighting design, color rendering can greatly impact the overall aesthetic and functionality of a space. The ability of a light source to accurately reveal the colors of objects it lights is essential, whether it’s for retail displays, museum exhibits or residential homes. Traditionally, the Color Rendering Index (CRI) has been used as the standard for measuring color rendering accuracy. However, with the emergence of new lighting technologies, such as LEDs, demand for a more comprehensive and accurate evaluation method arose. This led to the development of ANSI/IES TM-30-20, a revolutionary approach to assessing color rendition in lighting.

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