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Food Lion touts remodeled store
Food Lion Opening 1
Food Lion produce manager Alex Brown cuts the ribbon Wednesday amid a crowd of fellow employees and public officials at the grocery store's re-opening celebration. Brown, who has worked at the store for eight years, was given the honor as a reward for her many years of service. - photo by Hollie Moore Barnidge / Coastal Courier
Food Lion welcomed customers into its newly remodeled store Wednesday morning during a grand re-opening celebration and ribbon cutting.
The renovation, which receiving manager Tanja Gibson said began Jan. 15, included replacing old fixtures and shelves with new ones, rearranging departments within the facility, and altering the layout and placement of grocery items for improved accessibility.
Manager Penny Newton, who has worked at the store for a year, said the renovation was a lot of work, but she was pleased with the result.
"We are so excited," Newton said. "This was an older store that we couldn't wait to remodel, and we think it's going to be really great."
On hand for the celebration were members of the Hinesville Police and Fire departments, and representatives from the Liberty County Chamber of Commerce and the Hinesville City Council. Police officers offered free children's fingerprinting and photograph services to parents who opted to document the information for safety purposes, while a fire engine in the store's parking lot served as an information station where two department members distributed fire and public safety tips.
"We do a lot of things for schools," Roland Evans, a fire department engineer, said. "We don't do too many openings, but any time we can get out in the public and share information, we do that."  
Inside the store, customers admired the redesigned floor space and new offerings. Charlie May Pauley, a customer who said she has always shopped at Food Lion, noted a bigger variety of items and a more organized format.
"I like the way they've changed things. There's more of everything and it's easier to find things," Pauley said.
Teresa Clymer, a Missouri transplant who recently moved to Hinesville when her husband was stationed at Fort Stewart, agreed the remodeled store looks nice.
"We enjoy it," Clymer said. "It reminds us of our little store back home."
As part of the renovation celebration, Food Lion was permitted by its corporate headquarters to award $500 to an area school. After touring all the schools in the region, Newton and a corporate employee decided to present the donation to Lyman Hall Elementary School. Newton said all the schools had interesting ideas for using the funds to implement new programs, but Lyman Hall deserved it the most. An official from the school was on hand at the ribbon cutting to receive the check from Newton.
Hinesville City Councilman Kenneth Shaw, who represents the 5th District, was impressed with Food Lion's commitment to the community.
"This is something we need," Shaw said. "I'm glad to see they've remodeled. I think the community will really appreciate it."
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