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Brewerytown gets long awaited grocery store - 6at4

Thursday, November 15, 2012
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Residents in the Brewerytown section of Philadelphia celebrated the grand opening of a long awaited grocery store.

"I'm so excited I don't even know where to start. I lost my cart," said Gail Truesdale.

That was easy to do with all the excitement but not to worry, her cart soon turned up along with her husband.

The Truesdales were among the first shoppers at Bottom Dollar Food at 31st and Girard.

It's the first grocery store to open in the Brewerytown section of North Philadelphia in more than a decade.

Longtime resident Deborah Smith even snapped pictures.

"It's so very much needed. The corner stores are high priced. We need something for the elderly or the disabled like myself. You can walk locally, get your exercise and get reasonable prices for merchandise," said Deborah Smith.

A snip of the ribbon made it official. At the opening ceremony, Bottom Dollar presented four local schools with checks for $500.

Officials described years of work that led to this moment and the resistance they met from supermarkets they approached.

"The most important thing was theft. They claimed they were losing too much money in the poor neighborhoods," said Rep. Frank Oliver.

Early in the morning, lines formed outside. A gold coin at the door earned the first two-hundred shoppers a bag of free groceries.

Management says this store is a great addition to the community in more ways than one, nearly all of the 60 jobs went to local residents.

"We were able to staff also from within the community: I'd say 95 percent of our associates, myself included, live in or around this community," said Omar Johnson, store manager.

A lot of people loaded up their carts but the beauty of the location for many is that it's in walking distance, so no vehicle or public transportation is necessary.

"It was a challenge because you had to go too far even a bag of sugar," said Tracey Abney.

Now that the supermarket is finally here?

"Oh, I'm just in awe. I thanked them, I couldn't thank them enough," said Abney.

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