MOUNT FOREST – On the morning of Jan. 25, community members gathered inside the new Foodland in the north end of Mount Forest for the store’s grand opening.
Franchise owner Andrew Kelly began the ribbon cutting ceremony with some kind words about the construction team, lead executive, leadership and store team for making the opening possible.
“You guys have worked so hard to prepare for today’s grand opening, and the store looks amazing,” Kelly said.
The store has a “new take” on community and offers “more of a rural, country roots feel,” explained Shawn Showers, district operator of the Mount Forest Foodland.
“I can’t say enough about the look of this store.
“I have done renovations and new jobs for decades, and this store here is near and dear to me. And this store is stunningly beautiful.”
‘More elbow room’
The new space has “a lot more elbow room” and selection than the previous location, Showers said.
The front of the store includes a “fresh cut” program that has food available for people on the go.
Also new is a full hot deli, where customers can get wings, chicken, onion rings, wedges and more.
Showers explained the old location did not have the fryers necessary to offer this feature.
There is also an on-site sushi chef who makes fresh sushi every day and the store has three self-checkouts.
“We haven’t forgotten about our Mennonite customers as well,” said Showers.
Located at the back of the store is a separate entrance with a horse shelter outside. A sidewalk is also located from the horse shelter to the front of the store as another entrance option.
“All the staff at the Mount Forest Foodland worked tirelessly and very, very hard,” Showers said.
“It’s a lot of blood, sweat and tears to get from the starting to the finish line.”
He added 80 new employees have been hired at the location.
Wellington North Mayor Andy Lennox congratulated Kelly, Showers and the rest of the Mount Forest team.
“It looks like the construction crew did a great job, and I know that many people are looking forward to [trying] out this new store,” said Lennox.
“Judging by all the people here, boy, there’s lot of interest.”
After speeches, Kelly opened the floor to mark the day’s celebration with a $1,000 donation to the Mount Forest Community Pantry.
“I’d like to acknowledge the Mount Forest community and the importance of helping our community,” Kelly said.
“I’d love to recognize your hard work, your patience and understanding during this process. It wasn’t easy but we did it.”
The ribbon was then cut, the crowd cheered and registers opened for the store’s first customers.
The new Foodland is located beside Peavey Mart and the Beer Store on Main Street North.