Grocery gets new owner, name

Published 5:00 am Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Following a brief closure today and Thursday, Brookhaven groceryshoppers will have new buying opportunities in a familiar locationbeginning Friday.

The Save Rite grocery store on Monticello Street will close at 2p.m. today and reopen as Food Center on Friday morning, new ownerGene Rushing said.

Rushing purchased the Save Rite location after it was put up forsale by parent company Winn-Dixie as part of its bankruptcyrestructuring effort. New products and signs will be moved induring the short closure, Rushing said.

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“We’ll probably change out the signage (Wednesday) or Thursday,”said Rushing, who also operates Piggly-Wiggly stores in Brookhaven,Canton and other locations.

Rushing said the new signs will be temporary. Citing the quicksale process, he estimated it would take several weeks forpermanent signs to be in place.

Local Save Rite officials directed requests for comments aboutthe changeover to Winn-Dixie corporate offices in Florida. Severalcustomers Tuesday afternoon said they had learned some details ofthe switch while talking with store employees.

“I’m so thankful they didn’t close,” Terri Moak said as sheloaded groceries into her car. “This is so handy.”

Moak, who lives on Chippewa Street, said the store is convenientfor her and her family. She shops at the store several times aweek.

Barbara Mitchell, of Bogue Chitto, said she shops at the storeoften. She said there was a good sale going on as the storeprepared to change ownership.

“I hate to see them leave,” she said.

Mitchell was glad to see the store stay open under newownership. However, she said she was reserving judgment until shehas a chance to check out the new store.

“I don’t know until I see the prices,” she said.

Mitchell was also thankful that the store’s continued operationwould allow some shoppers to avoid the traffic associated withlarger grocery/retail stores.

“That’s going to help us out a whole lot,” Mitchell said.

Rushing said the gas station will continue to be run by thestore. Citing security reasons, he anticipated some changes instore hours.

“Unless something happens, we’ll probably close at 10 p.m. andopen at 7 a.m.,” Rushing said.

Rushing said most store management and employees would bestaying. The store has 65 to 75 full- and part-time employees.

Rushing said he was hopeful the store would meet customers’expectations.

“We’re going to try and have a real good store,” Rushing said.”We’re want to have a good variety of what everybody wants.”