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Your Independent Grocer grand opening

The official grand opening of Your Independent Grocer welcomed shoppers early Friday morning on July 10.
(Left to right) Loblaw Vice President Dino Naccarato

The official grand opening of Your Independent Grocer welcomed shoppers early Friday morning on July 10.

Undergoing a rebrand change from an Extra Foods to a Your Independent Grocer, owner Ann Zweerink was proud to reopen the store’s doors after weeks of reorganization had shuffled the store’s innards.

“I want to thank my staff, everyone has worked extremely hard. As well, a lot of store development teams and specialists have come in to help us with this transition,” said Zweerink, adding, “and I would like to thank the community for their patience and understanding during our renovation. I know it was tough.”

To mark the store’s grand opening, a traditional ribbon was replaced by a several foot-long loaf of bread that Zweerink, Mayor Mary Giuliano, Loblaw Vice President Dino Naccarato and Salvation Army representative Dee Blanchard cut into.

Blanchard was on hand to receive a $1,000 donation from Zweerink to the Salvation Army.

The transition to a Your Independent Grocer was accompanied by expansions of several pre-existing departments including the bulk and deli sections of the store.

As well, the introduction of the Meals To Go department will bring a line of ready-to-eat meals for customer’s immediate enjoyment. “I’m excited to share the fresh offerings we’re going to be able to bring to our customers. Our fresh juicing and produce, salad bar, our hot Meals To Go. There are so many recipes there that are amazing. We’ve also added cake decorating to our bakery department,” said Zweerink.

A variety of salads, sandwiches, a hot panini station, sushi and recipes such as turkey-spinach meatballs and coffee-rubbed barbecue ribs have been added to Your Independent Grocer’s menu lineup.

The first 150 customers through the doors received a $10 gift card and were some of the first to taste test the grocer’s newest products.

Mayor Mary Giuliano was also on hand to speak on behalf of the city.

“I want to congratulate Ann on the success of her business. We love what you had before but I think we’re all excited to see what the future holds,” said Giuliano.

The mayor also noted that the store’s new exterior colours seamlessly blend into the city’s official colour scheme.

“The new products offered are something never before featured in Fernie and really brings local shopping to a new level,” she said.

The rebranding has also added roughly 30 new positions to the grocery’s employment.

The new store is now open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.