There’s a new grocery store in Valley Springs, and local residents are lining up.
On the morning of Nov. 14, a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held to mark the grand opening of the new Grocery Outlet Bargain Market in Valley Springs.
Hundreds of people gathered in front of the store, forming a long line that wrapped around the parking lot.
Cars circled the shopping center, looking for the rare parking space.
A DJ played upbeat music in front, while the crowd chatted excitedly.
A Grocery Outlet spokesman opened the ceremony. He thanked the crowd and spoke briefly about the business.
“Grocery Outlet is an extreme-value grocery retailer with over 320 locations, including this one. We offer big savings, brand-name, high-quality products every day, and a wide variety of natural, organic products, along with fresh produce, meat, deli, packaged groceries, beer, wine, frozen, health and beauty care and general merchandise products,” the spokesman said.
Calaveras Consolidated Fire District Chaplain Dick Brown was asked to come forward to give a prayer.
“This will become a central part of our Valley Springs community; a place where we can shop locally and contribute to the success of our local businesses,” Brown said. “Let this be a joyful and productive day.”
Each franchise is independently owned and operated. Owners Joel and Jamie Brandt addressed the crowd.
“Oh, my God; we’re overwhelmed. Thank you guys so much for coming out today,” Joel Brandt said. “If you want your dreams to come true, you have to jump with both feet in. A year ago, we jumped, and six months ago, we found out that we landed in Valley Springs, and we couldn’t be happier. Thank you Valley Springs and Calaveras County for welcoming us so warmly.”
Jamie Brandt thanked all those who made the store opening possible.
“The store looks incredible; wait till you guys see it,” she said.
The couple were drawn to Valley Springs because it presented opportunities to give back to the community, Jamie Brandt said.
“Money doesn’t buy happiness, but generosity does, and we look forward to getting involved in Valley Springs and giving back,” she said.
The Brandts presented a $1,500 oversized check to The Resource Connection, a local nonprofit.
“This donation will help go towards many of The Resource Connection’s programs, including early childhood programs; the food bank; the woman, infants and children's program; and the intervention and prevention program,” Joel Brandt said.
Lemire handed a large pair of scissors to the Brandts as they stood in front of the entrance, flanked by supporters and employees.
“We are excited to hand over the scissors to Joel and Jamie to unlock the savings and begin cutting costs at Valley Springs Grocery Outlet Bargain Market,” Lemire said.
The ribbon floated to the ground, the Brandts raised their fists in celebration, and the crowd applauded.
Afterwards, the entrance was opened and customers filed in. The Brandts personally handed out gift cards worth between $5 and $200 to the first 200 customers.
The crowd seemed excited about the new business, which fills an important need in Valley Springs.
“I’m tired of driving to Jackson,” said Lisa Butler, who was waiting in line.
Customer Ingrid Seipold said she wasn’t surprised by the large turnout.
“Everybody has been waiting for it,” she said. “Everybody’s been talking about it.”
Attendee Herbert Hoffmann felt that the new establishment would benefit consumers.
“It gives Mar-Val a little competition,” he said.
The new business has created 37 jobs in the community.
From Nov. 14-Dec. 12., customers can enter a drawing for free groceries for one year, a total value of $1,200.
On Dec. 7, the business is holding a community event featuring prizes, a bake sale benefitting local clubs, face-painting and in-store games.