The new Rogersville Food City is the supermarket chain's 100th store. Ned Jilton II photo.
ROGERSVILLE — Rogersville’s new Food City store won’t officially open until 10 a.m. this morning, but a few lucky souls had an opportunity Tuesday evening to get in some early shopping.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held at the new and improved Rogersville Food City Tuesday at the Eastgate Shopping Center on Main Street and Park Boulevard.
During the ceremony, K-VA-T Food Stores President and CEO Steve Smith invited attendees to pick up a gallon of milk or any other item they might need on their way out. Cashiers were on hand to lend their assistance.
Rogersville’s new Food City store is similar to the new Food City store that opened in Kingsport on Eastman Road last year with a bigger deli, seafood and produce departments, and much more variety. Rogersville’s new store also includes a pharmacy and a Value Care clinic.
Both the Rogersville and Eastman Road stores were rebuilt from scratch on the site of older stores.
But the new Rogersville store was extra special for Smith and Food City, in that it was the 100th store opening in the history of the company. In commemoration of that achievement, a steel beam was taken to all the Food City stores in Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee and signed by associates at each store. That beam has been erected at the entrance to the new Rogersville store.
“This store will always have a special meaning for our company, and we’re very proud of that, and we’re proud to have it in Rogersville,” Smith said. “Our history in Rogersville goes back to 1948, so you can tell that is a long time that we’ve had a history here in Hawkins County and in Rogersville.”
Among the attendees for Tuesday’s ribbon-cutting ceremony were local, state and federal political officeholders or their representatives, local dignitaries, and vendors who provide the Food City stores with their wares.
Smith noted that this year Food City has bought more than $6 million in produce grown either in East Tennessee or Southwest Virginia, and he said he and the company are proud to be able to partner with area growers and give them a market for their goods.
“I’ll give you a statistic I think is important because I think it speaks toward the kind of company we want to be,” Smith said. “In the months of July and August when produce is at its peak in East Tennessee and Southwest Virginia, one out of every five dollars that we sell out of our produce departments comes from a local farmer. Folks that don’t grow tobacco anymore in a lot of cases do grow broccoli or do grow green beans or strawberries or corn for Food City, and we have a wonderful relationship with them.”
The new $6 million Rogersville store is about 46,000 square feet, compared to the old store which was approximately 30,000 square feet. The old store employed 85 people, but the new store will employ 150 people.
Rogersville’s other Food City branch on the west end of town on Route 66 closed at 6 p.m. Tuesday to begin a renovation and is expected to remain closed for about two months.