A WLOX Report
WAVELAND – For the first time in seven years Hancock County residents, who live south of I-10 have a choice as to where they get their groceries.
Save-A-Lot opened a new supermarket in the former Home Depot building on Highway 90 in Waveland.
The new store created 27 jobs and officially opened at 8 Sunday morning.
“Hello sir, welcome to Save-A-Lot,” said one employee greeting customers.
Opening day for the new Save-A-Lot brought out some big crowds.
“Now we have a choice of which store we’d like to go to versus one store that we all have to share,” said Hancock County resident Sarah Pinarci.
Before Hurricane Katrina there were four large grocery stores south of I-10. Up until now the Walmart Super Center was the only grocery store to return.
“This is a chance for us to have something that we haven’t had in seven years. Another supermarket to go. It’s a good feeling to know you can get up and go somewhere close that’s smaller and quick to get out. It’s wonderful,” explained Bay St. Louis resident Pam Martin.
Beckie Conway, of Waveland echoed her words.
“I’ve been driving to Slidell to go to Save-A-Lot and that’s 35 miles there and 35 miles back now I live two miles down the road so it’s awesome,” Conway said.
For Sarah Pinarci it’s all about options and the ability to choose where to shop.
“I just hated the fact that we had no choice in the matter we all had to purchase from one store or we had to travel several miles,” Pinarci said.
The store provides jobs for 27 local people.
Including the store manager who is from Waveland, but has spent the past several years managing the Save-A-Lot in Slidell, LA.
“More time at home and less time on the road,” said Store Manager John Warnke.
Save-A-Lot District Sales Manager, Keith Bryant told WLOX News, “This store here, is one of our new concept stores. It’s called the Save-A-Lot Market Place. We’ve got a lot of new items in the store and a lot of new fixtures as the way we’ve designed.”
Residents are just happy to see it open.
“Hopefully this will boost our economy and I think boost people’s spirits to see some growth happening in a town that was devastated,” said Bay St. Louis resident Danita Luttrell.
A ribbon cutting ceremony for the store was scheduled for Monday at 9 a.m.