The Vinton Food Lion on Washington Avenue unveiled its new look at a ribboncutting ceremony early on October 10.
Store Manager Houston Wallace welcomed the community to the “new Food Lion” and thanked shoppers for “working through the changes with us” that have been made during renovations in the past several months.
“Every improvement has been made with the customer in mind.” In honor of the occasion, he presented a check from Food Lion Feeds for $2,000 to David Burgess representing the local Good Samaritan Christian Soldiers food bank which serves individuals in Roanoke and Vinton. That will provide 20,000 meals for those in need. Food Lion also stocked the pantry at Good Samaritan on October 9. The company has made a $91.7 million capital investment in its 63 area stores this year, which includes remodeling the stores, hiring nearly 2,000 additional associates to better serve customers and giving back to local communities by donating two mobile food trucks to area food banks to nourish local families in need.
“Roanoke is very special to Food Lion,” said Meg Ham, president of Food Lion, who was present for the ribboncutting. “We’ve been part of the fabric of this community for 40 years opening our first store in Martinsville, Va. A lot has changed since we opened our first store in this market. We’ve created a new grocery shopping experience through the significant investments in our stores, customers, associates and communities. From our expanded variety and product assortment, newly reorganized stores, and new signage, to a more efficient check-out experience, every change we’ve made will make it easier for our customers to find fresh, quality products at affordable prices every day.” Wallace recognized dignitaries on hand for the ribboncutting including Mayor Brad Grose, Vice Mayor Keith Liles, Councilwoman Sabrina McCarty, Town Manager Barry Thompson, Police Chief Tom Foster, Vinton Area Chamber of Commerce President Justin Davison, Chamber Executive Director Angie Chewning, and Jennifer Faulkner from Congressman Bob Goodlatte’s office.
Several members of the Vinton Police Department and Fire and EMS Department were on hand for the ceremony, along with a host of Food Lion executives and store associates. Mayor Grose thanked the Food Lion corporation for investing in the community and for its community spirit in supporting the Good Samaritan food bank and Feeding America Southwest Virginia. He congratulated the company on the “beautiful modern store,” and modified the Food Lion promise to say that Food Lion “can count on us in the Town of Vinton.” Wallace recognized the store associates who have made him welcome— they have about 55 full and part-time employees— and thanked Angie Chewning from the Chamber in particular for working as “an extraordinary community partner” in the six months he has been at the Vinton store. Wallace is originally from the Fieldale/Martinsville area. As part of the celebration, the first 100 customers in line received a $10 gift card and free thermal tote bag with one lucky winner receiving a $250 gift card. The line began forming before 7 a.m. Later that afternoon at 5 p.m., the first 100 customers received a free Food Lion branded bamboo cutting board. Wallace noted that among the changes customers see are:
• Expanded variety and assortment across departments relevant to the customers in each store, such as more locally produced items in the “Local Goodness” section, an expanded variety of craft beer, limited reserve wines, and more natural, organic and gluten-free items;
• An abundant selection of fresh produce and meat backed by Food Lion’s double-your-money-back guarantee and a selection of Nature’s Place beef and other items:
• Select stores will also offer hand-battered chicken, in-store cut fruit and vegetables;
• A greater selection of easy and affordable complete meals for families and a wider variety of grab-andgo items and pre-sliced deli meats and cheeses, which are sliced fresh daily and available for customers to pick up without waiting in line;
• Fully remodeled stores featuring new signage and groupings of like products, to make it easier to locate items faster;
• A more efficient checkout process, making it easier to get in, out;
• Improved quality and freshness of products throughout the store;
• Low prices on thousands of items across all departments. Thirteen of the 105 newly remodeled stores also feature walk-in garden coolers designed to keep produce fresher longer, including the nearby Bennington Street store in Southeast Roanoke. Twelve stores in the market now include a wing bar assortment for customers looking for hot, quick meal solutions.
“We not only invested in our stores, we also invested in promoting great associates and hiring promising new talent,” said Ham. “It’s also why, as part of our grand reopening celebrations, we’re partnering with the Feeding America Southwest Virginia and the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank to help end hunger in the towns and cities we serve. We will donate two new mobile food trucks to both food banks, so they can nourish hungry families with fresh items. Giving back to our communities is something we’re just as passionate about as serving our customers every day in our stores.” With the completion of this market, Food Lion has remodeled 712 of its 1,030 stores in the last four years. The company also just completed renovating 105 stores in the greater Norfolk market in August. Food Lion will continue to make enhancements to create a better shopping experience for customers across all stores and remodel additional stores in other markets. Food Lion, based in Salisbury, N.C., since 1957, has more than 1,000 stores in 10 Southeastern and Mid- Atlantic states and employs more than 63,000 associates.
By leveraging its longstanding heritage of low prices and convenient locations, Food Lion is working to own the easiest full shop grocery experience in the Southeast, anchored by a strong commitment to affordability, freshness and the communities it serves.