Designing Experiential Retail Spaces in Utah

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Translating a Brand to be Inviting, Memorable and Profitable

Retail spaces bring life to a community. It’s one of those considerations you make when looking to move into a neighborhood. And when you find your favorite restaurant or convenience store, it’s a space you feel comfortable in and return to again and again.

The retail landscape changes quickly and the businesses that best adapt to this shift survive and thrive. Over the firm’s 20-year history, CMA has seen a shift from strip malls to super retail centers and standalone stores. “The shift to more experiential feeling has changed the way spaces are designed,” explains firm principal Gerrit Timmerman. “Whether it’s an individual tenant buildout, standalone retail store, restaurant prototype, or individual store, our clients are looking to us to create a space where customers slow their pace, linger, and find what they are looking for.”

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Kneaders Restaurant

Clients like Kneaders restaurants and Alphagraphics print centers look to CMA to be familiar with key program and performance requirements. “Our goal is to always match the client’s brand identity and vision with a design solution that is tailored to fit while still being repeatable,” says Gerrit. Then CMA helps a client navigate local and jurisdictional codes. “It’s just as important to be familiar with branding and imaging requirements as it is to understand existing site constraints, city ordinances, and available building infrastructure,” stresses Gerrit. “We find meeting face-to-face and communicating often is critical to navigating complicated permitting processes.”

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CMA met these challenges in the re-opening of a beloved Utah Valley restaurant, Taco Amigo. The 40-year-old fast-food restaurant in Pleasant Grove had grown out of its small space. There wasn’t enough seating and the drive-thru was often backed up into the street. The family-owned business knew they needed to expand; they set a goal for 70% more capacity in dining, parking and drive through.

The owners turned to CMA to design a space that reinforced their brand. “We created a unique look and style for their restaurant that incorporated their new logo into the shapes of the building,” describes project architect Dallas Nelson. “Initial concepts didn’t seem quite right, so we went back to work. What we came up with delighted the client, who was initially hesitant to change the look and feel of a beloved brand and possibly alienate faithful customers.”


Taco Amigo logo was incorporated into the shape of the building

The client was relieved and delighted when within a few months, their sales had actually increased by 70%.  Customers responded to the contemporary, vibrant environment, improved functionality, and new brand identity. Following the success of the Pleasant Grove remodel, the client was excited to replicate the exterior trim and accents, a highly visible building front and main entry, exterior lighting and modern elements for a similar remodel of the nearby Orem location.


Taco Amigo Interior

Whether it’s your first retail environment or fiftieth, we love the challenge of translating a client’s brand into inviting, memorable, and profitable spaces.