Dignitaries, store associates and corporate Kroger-Fred Meyer representatives shared space with shoppers Wednesday as the Gig Harbor Fred Meyer prepped for its ribbon cutting.
Outside the store on Point Fosdick Drive Northwest, customers circled the parking lot looking for spaces.
Inside, the store was polished to a shine, shelves stocked full and the front section packed with samples of pastries, cheese varieties and Charcuterie trays, among other specialty items.
In a preview tour of the store in late December, as employees prepped for the opening, store manager Justin Morris noted that not only were many of the employees from Kroger’s recently closed Main & Vine coming to the new store, but so too were a lot of the popular features of that former Gig Harbor store.
The Main & Vine vibe was front and center at the new store Wednesday.
Racks of dairy-free alternatives to milk, ice cream and cheese were fully stocked. Fred Meyer’s Simple Truth Organic brand was spotted throughout the store, with items familiar and lesser known, such as its cucumber melon seltzer water.
The new store’s offerings should more than compensate for the near-empty bins shoppers faced in the waning days of the old Fred Meyer as it wound down operations.
The new store had faced multiple delays in opening, but those frustrations were put in the past as company representatives thanked its store associates and government officials, who were on site Wednesday to celebrate the opening.
Joking that the old location had been held together with “Band-Aids and duct tape” Morris, at Wednesday’s ribbon cutting, thanked shoppers for their patience.
“This is a long time coming,” he said. “You deserve this. This is for you.”