Woods Supermarket West celebrated the opening of the second Sedalia store with a Grand Opening and Sedalia Area Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting Wednesday morning.
Woods CEO Craig Easter said Wednesday, before the ribbon cutting ceremony, that the State Fair Shopping Center store’s arrangement of merchandise is basically the same as it was at Bing’s Grocery Store, but it’s been enhanced and aisles and walkways are more easily navigable.
“We are employing about 15 and 16 employees,” he noted. “We’ve done a pretty healthy remodel, it goes all the way from the front end carpet, to the floors, to the bathrooms, to the cases. There are upgraded cases and they are more efficient. Food safety is very important so that’s why we upgraded some of the refrigeration.”
He also stated that they have added more variety in the frozen food department and eliminated the open bunker-type cases.
“So, we added the doors on both sides,” he said.
Woods Director of Pricing Michael Ramsey said by placing doors on the units, they were able to add another 60 linear feet of frozen food.
“We gain six feet for every door,” he added. “Being able to do that, we were able to gain a lot of space for the frozen meat as well.”
“All of that equals variety,” Easter noted. “The same thing goes for the bakery/deli, the frozen ice cream cakes.”
Easter said they also cut the “aisles back” to make them more accessible and make it easier for customers move around with their carts. He added that the arrangement of items is also “very familiar” for shoppers.
In the spirits aisle they added a larger refrigerator case and increased the craft beer selection.
“Craft beers are really important to customers these days,” he said. “So, we increased the variety of craft beers, it’s just kind of the trend.”
The butcher shop will offer a variety of fresh cut meats, plus a frozen food bunker, and a value meat area.
“I have added this program called pick five, which is a great value item,” he noted. “We have our service meat case, and we cut that fresh daily. The guys are able to cut anything the customer may want. It’s more than just what’s inside that case, because we offer that at the other store too, but the ability for our butchers to have that conversation with the customers, so they can (cut) about anything.”
Woods West also has an upgraded produce department. Easter said they took out the produce tables and added “more flexible tables” that provides additional room for shoppers to maneuver around.
“And, we were able to add more variety to the wall,” he added. “I’m a produce guy at heart, that’s where I grew up in the industry. I love the way this looks.”
Woods Pharmacy is also now back inside the store where the Bing’s Pharmacy was previously. The Pharmacy was inside an adjoining building but was moved back into the grocery store during remodeling.
Easter said the pharmacy is brighter and has better shelving options.
“We added a consultation room so they can do the (flu) shots and all that,” he added.
Woods Owner Don Woods, of Bolivar, told the Democrat that they have 12 stores in Missouri. Sedalia is the only town that has two Woods stores.
“One of the things that Don was talking about the other day was the ability in this town to have two stores,” Easter noted. “In most of our towns we have one store and now we’re able in this size of a town to offer the same thing in two different stores.”
“This is the largest town that we’re in,” Woods added.
During the ribbon cutting Woods told the crowd, “Sedalia’s been a great town for us and we hope we’ve been great for Sedalia.”
Woods West Manager Ann Grady said she was excited to be back in Sedalia at the new location. She previously was the manager, for six months, at the Woods east location on Broadway Boulevard before transferring to the Lake Ozark area.
“Sedalia is such a friendly town,” she noted. “I’d never been to Sedalia, so when I came here for the first time everybody was so friendly and nice. And besides, the Woods people they are just awesome people.”
Customers gave their thoughts about the new store also on Wednesday. Friends Carolyn Montgomery and Billie Barnes were busy talking to each other in the produce section after the ribbon cutting.
“My husband is thrilled,” Barnes said. “My husband will probably stop by on his way home probably three to four times a week. So, he’s very excited that it’s reopened.”
Montgomery was pleased that the shopping format hadn’t been changed much from Bing’s.
“I thought ‘it’s really nice that you don’t have to look for things,’ because it’s in the same place,” she said.
“I was pleased with that too, I didn’t know what to expect,” Barnes added.
Cheryl Hassler, of Otterville, was also pleased that aisles were still arranged in a familiar way.
“It’s a very nice store,” she said. “I’m glad that we have it, we needed another one, I think. It’s pretty much like the other Woods store.”
Faith Bemiss can be reached at 530-0289 or on Twitter @flbemiss.