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Walmart Neighborhood Market Celebrates Grand Opening

The store. located on Highway 78, celebrated its grand opening today, Aug. 29, at 7:30 a.m.

The new Walmart Neighborhood Market on Highway 78 was packed this morning as residents and city officials gathered to celebrate the much anticipated grand opening. 

Mayor Kelly Kautz officially welcomed the store to the city, expressing excitement about the partnership with the city and appreciation for the donations the corporation has made to local charities. 

"I'm excited," said resident Judy Edge, who lives just a mile or two away. 

Edge looks forward to the convenience of the new store, as well as what she hopes it will do for Highway 78. That sentiment is echoed by council members of the city. Councilman Tom Witts, mayor pro tem, stated that he believed this was the right time and place for such an endeavor, and that he could imagine looking back ten years from now and see this day as what re-establishes the Highway 78 corridor as a desirable place for retail centers. 

"[This] adds 80 plus new jobs and replaces an old empty building with a new state of the art facility," said councilman Bobby Howard in a statement. "This is another big win for our city. We are very pleased to have been selected by Wal-Mart for this neighborhood grocery [and] pharmacy."

Night shift managers Alex Mays and Joyce Rogers are both looking forward to starting their new roles at the store. For Rogers, the move was a promotion, while Mays held the same role at the Stone Mountain Walmart.

"People are excited," said Rogers. "I love the small format, the atmosphere. It has a friendlier feel and it's convenient."

She said that there will be fresher produce and higher quality meats at this location that in the larger stores.  

Now that the new Walmart is open for business, have your thoughts toward the facility changed? Tell us in the comments. 

For further reading:

T.Rawlins August 29, 2012 at 06:16 PM
"She said that there will be fresher produce and higher quality meats at this location that in the larger stores." While everyone is excited to bring revitalization to the 78 corridor, I remain skeptical of the fruits,vegetables, and meat that will be displayed at the New Walmart Neighborhood Market. Have you bought fruits and vegetables at the 124 store lately? It sometimes takes picking through to find something worth taking home. ....,And for them to say that there will be fresher produce and quality meats at this new market rather than the larger store is an insult to the people that will continue to use the larger 124 store. Why cant they put fresher produce and meats at the larger store. Will they separate the fruits,vegetables and meats shipments...fresh goes to 78 and old bruised, non appealing goes to 124?
Tom Witts August 29, 2012 at 06:48 PM
Tricia I have your problem solved! Buy your fruits and vegetables at the Snellville Farmers' Market (opened every Saturday from 8am to noon for your shopping pleasure) and you are guaranteed farm fresh, best available. (wink) Tom Witts
T.Rawlins August 29, 2012 at 07:05 PM
I do Tom.....I love the SFM! I hate to see it coming to its closing season soon. We still have a month left to get fresh fruits, vegetables and organics straight from the garden and farms. Thank you to all the volunteers and community leaders that make it possible.
Crystal Huskey (Editor) August 29, 2012 at 07:10 PM
Tricia, do you ever go to the Dekalb Farmers Market? Once the SFM closes, the Dekalb market is a good alternative, in my opinion.
T.Rawlins August 29, 2012 at 07:23 PM
Thanks Crystal...I don't know where it is located but I'll look for it. I'm in hopes but like I said remaining skeptical that Snellville Walmart will step up their game on both locations. Headed to check out the new Market, now!
Crystal Huskey (Editor) August 29, 2012 at 07:28 PM
Tricia, it's in Decatur, off of East Ponce. About a 20 minute drive, but worth it. It's like Disney World for foodies and is indoors. They have every spice in the world, every herb, fresh cheeses. I believe they are 100% organic, and very affordable. I have heard that there is another similar one on Buford Highway but I haven't been there.
T.Rawlins August 29, 2012 at 07:33 PM
Sounds great.....I'll check it out . Thanks!
George Wilson August 29, 2012 at 07:37 PM
@Crystal Huskey Here are my grades on farmers markets: Peachtree street A (The best and worth the drive) Snellville C-(Once was enough for me) Decatur D (A disappointment) Tucker Have not checked out Lilburn Have not checked out Morningside Have not checked out (have heard good things)
Crystal Huskey (Editor) August 29, 2012 at 07:41 PM
Did you go to the Decatur farmers market or the Dekalb Farmers Market? The one I'm referring to is like a huge warehouse. And a C for Snellville? Any particular reason? I've personally enjoyed it. Thanks for your input.
Tom Witts August 29, 2012 at 07:52 PM
I think we hijacked this thread!
Snellville Tod August 29, 2012 at 07:52 PM
Glad to see the store up and running. It took a lot of work and intestinal fortitude to get the rezoning through City Council. The current layout improves the separation and safety of the surrounding neighborhood compared to the poorly designed eyesore that it replaced. Welcome to Snellville! We a proud to have you.
T.Rawlins August 29, 2012 at 08:13 PM
I agree with you there, Tod....Although let's hold them to treating that surrounding neighborhood well, along with serving the residents of Snellville with fresh foods . Crystal.....Love the pictures.Sorry for the hijack. Tom....I always love talking to you.
George Wilson August 29, 2012 at 09:54 PM
Decatur Farmers Market,I thought we were talking about local farmers markets.Dekalb Farmers Market is a "supermarket/store" that is terrific.Great selection of wines and just about everything.A real international flavor and worth the trip.I want to visit all of the other markets before I give a complete review.
Jerome Williams August 29, 2012 at 10:39 PM
Hey George Wilson- Snellville Farmers market is number 1. glad ones is enough for you. We don't need no people like you talkin bad about it. And you know what we dont care what you think. anybody doesnt like Snellville farmer Market aint too bright.
Crystal Huskey (Editor) August 29, 2012 at 11:36 PM
Thanks for the extra pictures Mr. Witts. Add as many as you like!
j miller August 30, 2012 at 12:46 PM
To bad Snellville didn't invest the city's time and resources into encouraging small business to establish a presence on this site. I didn't shop at Walmart before, and this"small" market created by Walmart will never get one single dollar of my hard earned cash.
Snellville Tod August 30, 2012 at 02:14 PM
@ j miller, I'm not sure a "small business" could have paid for the site improvements. These improvements include: establishing a buffer between the site and the adjacent homes, complete rebuild of the retaining wall that was failing and design and implementation of an effective storm water runoff system to keep the site from flooding the neighboring homes as the old system did. This site was vacant and sat unused and on the market for a number of years.
Dave Emanuel August 30, 2012 at 04:31 PM
@j.miller- Although Snellville invests time and resources encouraging new businesses to locate within the city, and helping existing businesses to succeed and expand, each business owner decides what course of action to take. The cost of the property now occupied by the Neighborhood Market put it out of the range of most small businesses, and it is certainly not the place of city government to tell property owners who they should or shouldn't consider as purchasers. This property sat vacant for many years, and I'm sure the property owners would have considered any reasonable offer. The fact is, they didn't receive one until Walmart came along. Personally, I have found Walmart to be an excellent corporate citizen. The corporation has already donated $6,000 to local charities through this store, and has a long history of supporting a wide variety of local charities. And frankly, whether you, I or anyone else dislikes Walmart is irrelevant. The company is extremely successful because offers precisely what its customers want.
j miller August 31, 2012 at 01:31 PM
So...when WalMart decides that this site is no longer viable, and leaves for a location with better accessibility what does the city do with ANOTHER vacant structure abandoned by this excellent corporate citizen. WalMart has done this before, ( off highway 78 next to Regal theater). How about tax incentives to encourage local businesses to invest in building in Snellville? How about working with local banks to support small business start-ups in the city. There are multiple ways to encourage small businesses to establish in Snellville. The suggestion that the city of Snellville could or should dictate pricing to a property owner as the only solution to this discussion is another clue to the lack of creativity with the politicians making these decisions. Yes, Walmart provides jobs, so do small businesses. Yes, Walmart contributes to local charities, so do small businesses. Does WalMart contribute to a viable Snellville community, yes, until the corporate office decides that their store isn't making enough money, and shuts the doors. (Think Best Buy in Loganville). Local businesses make local business decisions. I would rather spend my dollars in a business with people I know.
Dave Emanuel August 31, 2012 at 09:58 PM
You've brought up a number of excellent points, but in your haste to condemn politicians for lack of creativity, you have overlooked the creative efforts that the city has launched. Eric Van Otteran, the city's director of economic development, has implemented a number of successful programs (one of which won an award from the Atlanta Regional Commission) to develop new entrepreneurs and assist existing ones. In addition to these programs, the city has also launched a business "toolbox" (snellvillebusinesstoolbox.com) to provide additional forms of assistance. You are correct that Walmart closed one location and opened another, which is the same thing a small business would do if it doubled the size of its operation. I don't think you can condemn a large corporation for the same business approach for which you would praise a small privately owned company. Regardless of size, all businesses have to earn a profit. If they don't, they cease to exist. Consumers are best served by a vibrant combination of large and small businesses, and I think you'll find that Snellville offers an excellent choice of both types.
j miller August 31, 2012 at 10:42 PM
First, the positive, the snellvillebusinesstoolbox.com, looks like a nice resource. Very user friendly, and functional. I will differ with you on the difference between Walmart leaving a location, and small business doing the same. Walmart can afford to "walkaway" from a property, whereas a small business would sell the location and use the revenue to support its business efforts. How many years did the "old" walmart stand vacant?. (that really is a question) I don't know the answer, but I'm sure it was several years. One more point, the beauty of a small, locally owned business is the character and ambiance of the proprietor. What is "Walmart jr. bringing to Snellville that the big box doesn't already provide. Are they supplying locally grown produce? I would venture the only real question is; whether the produce sold from "jr" walmart comes from the back or the front of the same truck that supplies the produce to the big store on Highway 124.
Kayla Tyler September 06, 2012 at 07:34 PM
I finally had a chance to stop by the new Wal-Mart store. While I liked the size and location of the store, I did miss the store having a bakery and deli. That made the store feel more like an Aldi to me. I knew that it would not have everything that the bigger Wal-Mart stores have, like clothes, electronics, etc.; but this aspect I did not mind. I enjoy Wal-Mart prices, but do not always feel like dealing with the crowds, and looked forward to a smaller concept store. I did miss grabbing a quick meal from the deli, though they have a selection of pre sliced deli meats and packaged breads.

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