The staff at Chilliwack’s newest Save-On-Foods store have been busy stocking shelves, assembling stands and learning how to make grab-and-go meals as they gear up for opening day this coming week.
It’s the fourth location for the grocery store chain in Chilliwack and store manager, Dawn Haig, said they are “one hundred per cent” ready to open on Thursday, March 4.
“All three Save-Ons have done so well here. This community has been very loyal to Save-On-Foods,” Haig said. “They’re supporting all three that are currently here, and we hope and expect the same here.”
Haig has been with the company for 18 years and part of management for 15 years.
The newest Save-On-Foods is located on the east side of Cottonwood Centre at 45585 Luckakuck Way. It has taken over the spot left vacant when Target closed in 2015.
The week leading up to opening day has been “fast-paced, exhilarating and fun,” Haig said.
On Friday (Feb. 26) The Progress had a peek inside the 38,000 square-foot store. It was organized chaos as staff unpacked boxes and last-minute touch-up were underway.
One of the first things people will see when they step inside are some features not found in other Chilliwack Save-On-Foods locations, like its large grab-and-go food section. There’s a coffee bar with a seating area, made-to-order burritos, mini doughnuts, a poke bar and a sushi bar.
Next to that, a colourful rainbow of hand-iced cakes sit on display as part of the custom cake program. Further inside, folks will find the fresh meat section with Western Canadian AAA beef, fresh sausages, kabobs, marinated chicken breasts and ocean-wise seafood.
Right around now (a day or two before they open) is when they bring in last-minute items, such produce and dairy to ensure they are the freshest possible when doors open.
A total of 123 jobs were created as a result of the location opening.
Haig said it’s “awesome” to be able to provide that many jobs in the community especially in the middle of a pandemic.
“I didn’t hire just grocery clerks, we hired customer service representatives,” Haig said. “That’s how we want to differentiate ourselves in the community from other retailers is our service that we provide, and that we take care of our customers.”
They have a “great team” and construction was always ahead of schedule, she added. The announcement for the fourth location was made two years ago.
“We have been a part of the Chilliwack community since 1923 and are delighted to be opening our newest Save-On-Foods store in Cottonwood Centre, offering our customers a fresh, innovative shopping experience,” said Save-On-Foods president, Darrell Jones. “We proudly support local growers and producers right in this very community and cannot wait for you too see their products on the shelves of this store.”
Grand opening celebrations kick off on Thursday, March 4 at 7 a.m. and continue all weekend long. Between March 4 and 7, more than 600 free items will be randomly given away to shoppers including $10 Save-On-Foods gift cards, More Rewards points, take ‘n bake pizzas, flower bouquets and more.