The lone food inspection reported on Wednesday was from an establishment that isn’t open yet. It was for the Starbucks included in the nearly 48,000-square-foot Food City store opening at 8 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 4, at 225 Lovers Lane Road NE in Calhoun. That report, by the way: 100 out of 100.
It marks the Abingdon, Va.,-based company’s deepest dip into Georgia so far; the nearest stores are in Dalton, Chatsworth and LaFayette. Founded 64 years ago, Food City has mostly stayed in the Chattanooga/North Georgia market. Until now.
And based on the responses to the “event” created by the grocer on Facebook, at least 286 people plan to attend — and another 1,300 are “interested.” Food City is planning free samples for the day as well as “special deals and gifts for the first 250 customers.”
The grand opening caps a construction-and-stocking phase that began with ground breaking ceremonies with the Gordon County Chamber of Commerce in May. Job fairs were held in October to fill positions including baker, deli help, floral design, cake decorator, baker, cook, meat helper, frozen food coordinator, customer service coordinator and day stocker.
A story earlier this week posted by the Chattanooga Times Free Press reports the store includes a bakery/deli with a hot food bar, large café seating area and pizzeria; meats, seafod and fresh sushi, a pharmacy with a drive-through and a Food City Gas N’ Go with a five-pump station, including diesel fuel. And, of course, that Starbucks. Unconfirmed but the other Georgia stores list operating hours from 6 a.m. until midnight seven days a week.
Trending: Calhoun’s Food City is the first new grocer in Northwest Georgia since the Kroger Marketplace and Aldi openings in Cartersville. Kroger is sprucing up its Cedartown location soon but that’s about it for food store updates at this time. On the flip side, three Save A Lot stores have closed — including those in West Rome and Summerville.
The one to watch: Lidl. While plans for stores in Rome and Calhoun evaporated more than a year ago, Lidl continues to grow in metro Atlanta. We think a move into Northwest Georgia remains an option.