With balloons streaming high overhead, the spanking new Weis Markets on Sullivan Trail opened to a cheering crowd early Sunday.
An estimated 500 people showed up this morning for the grand opening of the Forks Township store -- the 162nd for the supermarket chain -- with some arriving and forming a line some two hours before the scheduled 8am opening.
By the official opening, the line stretched several hundred yards across the parking lot entry on Sullivan Trail. The new store is at 3825 Sullivan Trail at the intersection with Uhler Road. Extra parking was made available in Braden Airpark across the road.
Store manager Mike Connelly welcomed the crowd and presented contributions from the chain to local organizations. A $15,000 check was accepted by Martha Thompson on behalf of St. Luke’s Women’s Imaging Center in Allentown and two checks for $1,000 each were presented to the Forks Township Fire Department and the Forks Township Youth Athletic Association.
But businesses weren't the only ones to receive gifts.
“The first 250 people who entered got a certificate for a free bag of groceries,” said Dennis Curtin, who heads the publicity department for the Weis Markets corporate organization.
Inside the store, shoppers can expect a sea of fresh fruits and vegetables. The displays cover one end of the 63,400-square-foot facility, which also includes a bakery, sit-down café selling beer, hot foods displays, fresh deli and floral shop. There is also a gas station on the premises.
“We get deliveries of fresh produce every day,” said John Rome, assistant produce manager for the store.
Weis has a policy to buy local, he said, and the store will be looking to buy from local producers this summer and into the fall. There are sections devoted to specialties—organic produce, for example.
The store is a 24-hour facility.