BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
FORT MADISON – More than 70 people piled into the produce section at Fort Madison’s newest grocery Wednesday morning.
With Fareway corporate officials watching and city residents piled in the front of the store, a red ribbon was cut by Market Manager Mike Hanna and Grocery Manager Mark Braun to welcome shoppers to the fully stocked and fronted aisles of the 19,000 square foot facility.
Fareway CEO Reynolds Cramer, said the journey was very welcoming and the company was excited to begin serving area customers.
“Obviously our management team and all our great employees are so excited,” Cramer said. “The fun part starts here after this when we get the doors open and start selling groceries. What a great time to be here and have the experience we’ve had.”
Cramer commended Fort Madison Mayor Brad Randolph and City Manager David Varley. “The work that you did to help get us going from start to finish has been amazing. David (Varley), all you did and the team work was just flawless.”
Randolph owned the property prior to Fareway making the commitment to come to Fort Madison.
“It’s an amazing day for us and I thank you from the bottom of my heart and all of our employees,” Cramer said. “This is just a fun day for Fareway anytime we open a new store especially in a great community like this.”
Randolph said it was special day for Fort Madison.
“It’s certainly a big day for Fareway and a more exciting day for Fort Madison,” Randolph said. “I get excited any time there is economic development in this community and for me this is just a bit more special. For a company to recognize a need and take advantage of that and seize on that opportunity really speaks volumes for what our community has to offer. Not just for Fareway, but for any business looking to locate in Fort Madison and expand in Fort Madison.”
Fort Madison Area Chamber of Commerce Director Angie Budnik said the opening is just another example of the growth occurring in Fort Madison.
“I want to express our sincere appreciation for the trust that Fareway Stores put in our community by choosing to build this brand new store here in Fort Madison. We, as the chamber, are looking forward to forging a partnership and helping you to build your business. The culture of service and family values Fareway Stores exhibits is one that we think our employees are going to have a good time working here,” Budnik said.
“This is just one more example of the positive things happening in FM to make it a great place to work and live.”
The store is open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday.