City and company officials are hailing the Dec. 17 opening of Dawsonville’s first full-service grocery store.
The new Food Lion, which will feature a farmer’s market type atmosphere, is a first for both the town and company.
“We’re very excited to enter Dawsonville with our new prototype store, the first in North Georgia,” said Curry Dalton, store manager. “There is such a need for a grocery store within the city limits.”
The opening, set for 8 a.m. at 59 Main St., Suite 100, adjacent to the Dawsonville Municipal Complex in downtown, will give customers an opportunity to sample products from various stations throughout the store.
“You will be amazed,” said Nick Nicodemus, customer service manager. “It’s not the standard box store. We are real atune to what our customer’s needs are. You will see our new configuration that is more shopper friendly.”
Linda Williams, president of the Dawson County Chamber of Commerce, said Food Lion’s decision to locate in Dawsonville is “a good indication of the community’s prosperity level.”
“We’re very proud Dawsonville was selected for Food Lion to bring jobs into our community,” she said. “It gives shoppers additional opportunity to shop local and continue generating those tax dollars within Dawson County.”
City officials also are eager to see Food Lion open.
“The city is very pleased that Food Lion has chosen to locate in downtown,” said City Administrator Kim Cornelison. “They are an important component to the urban redevelopment plan adopted in 2005 that was designed to help revitalize downtown.”
She said the city has received positive feedback on the center, particularly its look and location.
“It has generated a lot of excitement, and I believe it is a good addition to downtown Dawsonville,” Cornelison said.
The new downtown development will also include an All State Insurance Agency, Family Dollar, possibly a Domino’s Pizza and businesses not currently found in the downtown area, such as dry cleaners, etc., according to city officials.
The new store will feature about 850 more items than most traditional Food Lions.
Items include a more broad selection of ethnic and organic foods.
One of Food Lion’s top priorities and company traditions is customer service.
“The store will not have self-checkout lines because we are here to help you,” said Judy Dockery, health and beauty care manager.
Nicodemus said the company realized the employees are “the face of the company.”
“They are the ones who meet and greet the customers, and we want to give them exceptional customer service,” he said.
Another priority for the new Food Lion will be offering fresh produce and meats.
“We do not have any pre-packaged or pre-prepared meat,” Dalton said.
More than half of the store’s 69-person staff has been hired locally, with applications still being accepted online at www.foodlion.com.
Staff Writer Michele Hester contributed to this article.