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Grocery store on track to open this month

Less than two weeks.

That’s what Parker Sullivan of Sullivan’s Grocery says they’re shooting for to have the city’s newest grocery store open for business. A definite date has not been announced because unforeseen circumstances can always cause things to change. But the expectation remains for an opening prior to Labor Day.

Sullivan’s Grocery is a family-owned and family-run business, with Parker and his brother Shawn running the business along with their father, Steve. The addition of the Brookhaven location — in the former home of Piggly Wiggly on Hwy. 51 — brings the number of grocery stores under the Sullivan name to nine — 14, if you count their holdings under other names, as well, said Parker Sullivan.

Though the company is renting the property, the pits and potholes of the parking lot will be taken care of, Sullivan promised.

“We’re going to fix the parking lot and have it restriped,” he said. “Some of those potholes are huge.”

Shoppers in the new store can expect the layout to be primarily the same as Piggly Wiggly, with a couple of major exceptions: the dairy section will now be on the right side of the store — the north end, to the shopper’s right upon entering the store — and a cut fruit section will be in the front corner of the same side.

“We’ll have fresh cut pineapple, melons and other fruits, cut in-house, all fresh daily,” said Sullivan.

The dairy offerings will be behind cooler doors rather than in open air, as well as smoked meats.

The produce department will be three- and four-deck sections, presenting up to four times the amount of produce previously offered. Produce will come from the company’s supplier in Indianola and from growers around the Lincoln County area.

The store’s single-deck meat cases will be replaced with triple-deck cases, offering three times the amount of meat choices — like specialty meats, bacon-wrapped and stuffed tenderloins, custom cuts and even special ordered meat items, said Sullivan.

The deli will offer breakfast and lunch items and fresh-baked cakes, custom decorated in-store. In addition to ready-to-eat items, the deli will have offerings for meal prep at home, Sullivan said.

Jeff Newton, store manager for Piggly Wiggly, has been hired by Sullivan to manage the new store, and with Newton’s help many of “the Pig’s” former employees have been hired, as well. Gaps were filled with applicants seen during a recent job fair, resulting in 85 people total hired for the store. No employees were brought in from other Sullivan’s Grocery locations.

New LED lighting has been installed throughout the sales floor and all check out stands will be replaced within a couple of weeks of the store’s opening.

The sights, sounds and smells of new construction and remodeling filled the building Tuesday as Sullivan and his father looked around, smiling and agreeing that all should be ready for their opening target.

“We want to open up to give the community their store back,” Sullivan said, adding that although not everything will be fully updated on that first day, most parts of the store will be and the rest will follow shortly.

One thing’s for certain, he said — the food “will be fresh and will be in stock.”