A line of eager shoppers extended across the parking lot at the new Grocery Outlet Bargain Market for the store’s grand opening on the morning of June 28. HOPE of Rainier, the local social support agency, was the first to benefit from the opportunity to save.
The event was kicked off by a shopping spree. Rainier Chamber of Commerce President Brian Fawcett, also HOPE treasurer, had two minutes to fill a shopping cart with for HOPE food pantry. Fawcett grabbed $628 worth of food, which would have cost just $360 at Grocery Outlet prices. A round of applause was heard for the $268 that would have been saved on that grocery bill.
Rainier Mayor Jerry Cole presented a pair of plaques to commemorate the opening, engraved with proclamations that hailed both the Rainier location and the head office of the national chain.
A community celebration followed the grand opening ceremony and ribbon cutting. A donation of $2,471 was presented on behalf of Grocery Outlet to HOPE of Rainier later that morning. That was the amount shoppers saved on their grocery purchases during the store’s first hour of operation.
In a statement on the company’s social media page, Rainier Grocery Outlet owner Taylor Elliott said, "I was born and raised in the Great Northwest and having the opportunity to move back to the beautiful surroundings of my childhood as a new owner in Rainier is truly exciting.”
“Working for Grocery Outlet in one capacity or another has been my career path since I was 16 years old, stocking shelves and bagging groceries at the Chehalis Grocery Outlet store,” Elliott said. “I had the pleasure of expanding my knowledge of this company by working at the corporate level, setting up new stores/renovating existing ones.”
“I learned the inner workings of the company, which sparked my interest in becoming an operator. This led to acquiring a store of my own in San Diego, California,” he said. “I am proud of my work in San Diego, and I cannot wait to become part of the Rainier community and show my new neighbors what Grocery Outlet is all about.”
The first 200 customers received Grocery Outlet Bargain Bucks gift cards in mystery amounts ranging from $5-$200. All shoppers received a free reusable bag while supplies lasted. From June 28 to July 26, customers may enter for a chance to win a grand prize of free groceries for a year ($100 per month). Also, first responders and teachers may receive a discount card.
To extend the celebration, there will be free wine tasting each evening from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the wine department. Must be 21 years of age or older.