Kroger Celebrates Grand Re-Opening

Surrounded by members of his staff, Store Manager Deepu “DW” Wayte (center) cuts the ribbon to signify the official grand re-opening for the St. Marys Kroger. The grocery store has been under remodel for the past six months.
Staff Writer

Under renovations since July, Kroger has officially unveiled its new layout and wider selection of goods for local shoppers to peruse. With a drumroll and fanfare from the St. Marys All Brass Band, St. Marys Kroger cut the ribbon on its grand reopening Friday morning, kicking off two weekends worth of festivities and events at the store.

The doors opened at 7 a.m. Friday and shoppers were greeted with a free 2-liter of Pepsi, a pamphlet full of savings and a hug from the Coca-Cola polar bear. The first 300 customers also received a $10 gift card as a thank you from the store.

After about six months of renovations and moving stock around, Store Manager Deepu “DW” Wayte is happy to have the store back to normal again.

“It’s great to have everything done and see it all put together,” he said. 

The city of St. Marys is also pleased with the progress. Mayor Pat McGowan said he was excited to hear that the Cincinnati-based store chain was investing in the city.

“First, they initially invested in our city when they opened [this location] and now they’ve come back and put a ton of money into updating their store,” he said. “That’s important to St. Marys because these visitors are bringing new dollars in and that stimulates our economy. That is the anchor store in that shopping center; without Kroger, that area probably wouldn’t have developed the way that it has. They bring a bit of the big city to our little town and we’re happy to have them here.”

During the remodeling process, Wayte said the store increased its offerings in dairy and frozen foods as well as updating the look of the lobby, deli and bakery sections. He also said the produce area has been rearranged to allow customers more room to shop for what they need.

As an added bonus, St. Marys Kroger is offering no-fee pick-up services through the rest of the year.

To help Wayte and his staff celebrate their six months of hard work, a number of local and state celebrities will be making appearances at the store. Friday had the largest number of special events, including a visit and giveaways from T-102 radio station as well as visits from radio personality Jim Scott and a performance by a Cincinnati Circus entertainer. 

The circus will be back on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and the Cincinnati Bengals Ben-Gals will be in St. Marys from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. 

Sunday will bring the Cincinnati Reds mascot Gapper to town and the circus will make another appearance with both guests visiting from noon to 2 p.m. A circus entertainer will also return next weekend from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Dec. 14 and from noon to 2 p.m. on Dec. 15.