Hundreds of people poured through the doors to the new Aldi at 520 E. Chestnut St. at its grand opening Thursday morning. When the doors opened, there were people lined up about to Pizza Hut, according to witnesses and the first person through the doors had been camped out in the parking lot since 6 a.m. The store opened around 8 a.m.
According to Director of Operations Jake Henning, who was on site for the grand opening, the store’s location used to be a furniture store.
“We have a lot of models like this around the country now,” he said. “We’ve gone through a whole remodel process, so a lot of the existing stores are remodeled. We added on additional space to those. But since this was a new location for us, it is quite a bit bigger.”
Henning wasn’t sure exactly how many people attended the grand opening, but said the store had experienced a steady flow of foot traffic throughout the morning.
“We’re running all five registers,” he said. “Had a big crowd out this morning. We’re really thrilled to have the support of the community, excited to continue doing business here.”
Petrona Addison was one of the shoppers who chose to do business with Aldi the morning of its grand opening.
“This is my first time ever shopping Aldi’s,” she said.
Addison had a good impression of the store.
“I like what I see,” she said.
Ricky Tweed also attended the event. Despite the long lines, he was positive about the new grocery store. Tweed said he believed he’d shop at the new business once or twice a week if not more.
“I like everything,” Tweed said. “The prices are really good.”
He feels it’s a good addition to Junction City — something the community will benefit from, because it will provide competition.
“Groceries nowadays, produce — everything — is just so expensive,” he said.