Thrifty Foods will open their doors on Wednesday morning at 9: 30 a.m. and they won't close them again until Christmas.
The 24-hour grocery store that will anchor Haney Place Mall at the east end - balanced by Target at the west end - holds its grand opening tomorrow, with 130 employees serving the residents of Maple Ridge.
Maple Ridge Thrifty Foods store manager Dave Krupski recently relocated from Saskatchewan to the Lower Mainland, and with 26 years in the grocery retail business, he was tasked with the opening of the 28th store in the chain - the eighth in the Lower Mainland.
While Krupski maintains an office on the upper floor of the new Thrifty's location, he said he likes being at the store level, working with the staff and getting to know customers.
He started working in a grocery store as a teenager - "my dad made me get a job at 16" - and he learned he enjoyed working with a large staff and serving customers.
"I enjoy spending my time down on the floor instead of in my office - that's where the action is," he said.
By building relationships with his customers, they feel confident approaching the store's employees with any concerns.
Krupski has been invited to visit at one of the seniors homes in the next few weeks to get to know them.
"That's what being a store manager is about - getting your face out into the public eye," he said.
Even before the store opened, the Maple Ridge location of Thrifty Foods was reaching out to the community.
The first weekend they are open, they will host a free swim at the Hammond outdoor pool. The Thrifty Foods Community Swim will take place on July 7.
The next weekend, Thrifty Foods will be in the Kidzone at the Caribbean Festival on 224th Street with a tent where children can decorate smile cookies.
The grand opening on Wednesday, July 4 will be followed by a barbecue - and another one will be held on Saturday. Both are by donation and will benefit a local charity.
Thrifty's thrives on supporting the community, Krupski said.
The store has a 35,000-square-foot layout and includes green building designs including a refrigeration system that uses natural CO2 instead of synthetic refrigerant gas.
The company claims their store is "designed to have a 65 per cent lower carbon footprint than a typical grocery store."
Thrifty Foods is known for its quality offerings and good customer service, Krupski said.
Krupski said Thrifty's Foods offers food choices for the "family on the run" with options for a quick meal - sandwiches, paninis, soups, and sushi - or all the ingredients to cook up a gourmet meal.
The store will offer 300 choices of deli cheeses, and a wide variety of organic food, as well as gluten-free food.
The store has several food departments - produce, a bakery, seafood, meat, dairy, and frozen - but also a section with vitamins and nutritional supplements, and a full-service floral shop.
At the west side of the mall, Zellers will be replaced by Target. Target is set to open in spring 2013.
The Thrifty Foods location used to be a Safeway, but for the better part of the last decade it was an antique mall.
The antique mall closed a year ago to make way for the new grocery store.