By SHERIDAN CYR
Anxious shoppers lined the sidewalk on Wednesday, Oct. 5, and they looped all the way around to the parking lot, starting as early as 5:30 a.m., as a new Aldi grocery shopping center opened its doors at 811 Queen Street.
To promote the store’s grand opening, 100 tickets were given out to the first 100 patrons in line. Gift certificates between $5 and $100 were presented inside the store for those lucky ticket holders.
One of the soon-to-be patrons was Scott Shannon, father of the regional manager, Nicole Shannon, who was helping to open the new location.
“The company is really doing a lot right now, opening tons of new stores and renovating older ones,” said Shannon. “Their products are of great quality, and their prices make them available to a range of shoppers. Aldi is expanding like wildfire.”
The first three patrons waited eagerly at the door, talking about other Aldi stores they have visited. Thomas Carle of Meriden was first in line, followed by Victor Daesener of Plainville and Paul Barbagallo of Plainville.
“It’s pretty exciting,” said Carle. “We’re hoping to win big.”
Regional manager Nicole Shannon operates four other Aldi stores, and she said she was excited to open up a fifth location here in town. “People have been asking for a Southington location for two years now,” she said, “and we’re happy to finally be giving them what they have asked for.”
Chick-Fil-A, Chipotle, and Verizon Wireless stores are also being built within earshot of the new Aldi store. Shannon looks forward to these additions to the area.
“I think having those popular sites right nearby will definitely help us in our sales,” said Shannon. “Maybe some of their customers will discover Aldi through their patronage there.”
With the No. 2 ticket, Daesener, walked away with a $25 gift certificate.
“I really like this store already,” he said. “They have a lot more than the Bristol store does. I’ll definitely be shopping here… just maybe when there is a little less of a crowd.”
Southington’s store hours are Monday to Sunday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. More info at aldi.us/en.
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Sheridan Cyr, email her at SCyr@SouthingtonObserver.com.