Case Study



Ever'man Cooperative Grocery & Cafe is a is a Gulf Coast institution. Originally founded in Gulf Breeze, in 1973, to provide nutritious food at a reasonable cost, it has become an integral part of the community where people shop for their families and spend time with their neighbors. There are not many retail outlets that truly add to the local culture, but Ever’man does.

In 2018, Ever'man sought to expand their reach by adding a second store to complement their downtown location. As with the first, it would include amenities such a sushi bar, sandwich bar, deli and juice bar. In its completed form, the building’s footprint would cover 25,000 square feet. Designs were created, a North Pensacola location was selected and the search for the right General Contractor began.

Hanto & Clarke interviewed for the job with the designer and owner and finished 2nd in the interview process, but when the firm that was awarded the project was unable to get it within budget, Ever’man turned to us and we gladly stepped up. Construction began in January of 2019 and wrapped up in early December of the same year.


1000 East Nine Mile Road, Pensacola, FL

Project Size (ft2, m2)
26,000 square feet, 1-story

Building Type(s)
CMU, Structural Steel, Brick, EIFS

Project Type
New Construction

Delivery Method
Cost Plus – Negotiated

Building Architect/Project Team
Bullock Tice Associates


The Ever’man project presented Hanto & Clarke with its first opportunity to build a grocery store–an opportunity we were eager to embrace. The complexity of the overall job posed challenges as did the nature of specific components–specifically, the installation of a large number of refrigeration systems. In each instance, we had to ensure the proper electrical wiring and plumbing was in place for each specific unit. The challenge was presented by the sheer number and variety of installations involved.

Additionally, an extensive FFE (Furniture, Fixtures and Equipment) package began arriving earlier than anticipated. Because construction was still ongoing, the team had to sequester the FFE, work around it or devise another solution to avoid damaging it.

Finally, weather presented challenges which ultimately lead to delays. Rain days are an inevitability and are factored into any schedule however these weather delays–a month of non-stop rain–exceeded expectations.



Due to the complexity of the Ever’man project and the high number of subcontractors involved, communication and coordination were key to success. It was communication that played a vital role in overcoming our very first challenge. Upon reviewing the budget we inherited from the previous contractor, we found approximately ¾ of a million dollars of savings in the original plan through our value engineering process. By tapping into the expertise of the subcontractors, we developed more economical design options without sacrificing the product for the end user.

In the face of a complicated project and weather delays, we turned our attention to trimming time from our construction schedule by utilizing a phased construction approach. We identified three primary areas of construction–the deli and kitchen area, the sales and check out area and the prep and office area–and deployed subcontractors in waves. Plumbers, electricians, HVAC and fire-sprinkler installation subs started in the deli. Upon completion, they moved on and dry-wall moved in, followed by the next phase of subs. Using a similar approach with the exterior subcontractors, we were able to keep the entire project comfortably ahead of schedule.

The issue of early arriving FFE was addressed through diligence and discretion. To ensure that it wouldn’t be damaged, we used a combination of measures including wrapping, floor protection, bumper protection and isolating it from ongoing construction. Additionally, we employed a dedicated cleaning crew to eliminate construction dust almost as soon as it happened.

Ultimately, the challenges of the Ever’man job lay in its complexity and scale. Our success on the job came from our previous experience, our ability to communicate and coordinate and our ability to work as a team. The project proceeded smoothly, successfully finishing a full two months ahead of schedule.

Call the team at Hanto + Clarke, LLC, today to make the vision for your business come to life!