Hannaford Supermarket & Pharmacy has grand opening

Early birds entered en masse through the doors of the new Hannaford Supermarket & Pharmacy, located at 7 Kilton Rd., in Bedford. The grand opening held at 7 a.m. on Saturday, June 18, was a gala celebrated with a ribbon cutting, product samples, a raffle and gifts of white carnations. Store cards ranging from $5 to $250 went to the first 500 customers.

Store manager Suzanne Riel, of Goffstown, and associates from the Bedford store and from Hannaford stores as far away as Maine welcomed all. Riel said extensive research went into the store’s design.

"The store is set up based on customer feedback," said Riel. "It’s set up for convenience and to provide the products and services our customers told us they want and need."

Innovations abound at the 68,000-square-foot store, a site formerly occupied by a Stop & Shop that closed in 2013. The new store has an in-store kitchen and cafe with tables and comfy chairs. Specialty shops feature made-to-order foods including sushi, salads, sandwiches and Mexican dishes. The bakery boasts displays of locally made breads, pastries and pies. Aromatic wheels of cheese were sliced and sampled that day by hundreds.

The Driscoll family, of Bedford, deemed the store awesome. Eric and Marie Driscoll, their son Dylan and a baby daughter, Mary, won a gift card worth $250. Fruits, veggies and meats were among their first selections.

Riel greeted them and thanked them for their patronage. Meanwhile, more shoppers were met by the WZID street team, ambassadors from the Manchester Radio Group. The team was busy all morning handing out souvenirs and chances to win an iPad. Elsewhere, bakery manager Kelly Heffron, a Nashua resident, distributed fruit tarts made from strawberries and rhubarb.

Mike Plamondon, a Manchester resident and the Bedford store’s field merchandiser of meats and seafood, replenished from a multi-tiered, rolling cart dozens of packages of chicken breasts and fryer legs. Staffers at the meat counter wrapped spicy sausages, beef steaks and thick-cut pork chops.

The new Hannaford store, across from the Bedford Mall, replaces one on Colby Court in Bedford. Folks at the grand opening learned the new store offers a flower shop, online ordering and curbside pick-up of groceries. A drive-through at the pharmacy is another amenity. In addition, the space includes a 700-square-foot community room for gatherings sponsored by non-profit organizations.

Community spirit was evidenced with hefty donations to eight community groups. The Bedford Library and The Bedford Historical Society netted $2,000 each. Other gifts ranged from $500 to $2.000.

Comments from shoppers that day were mostly rave reviews. One said it’s too big. The Bedford Hannaford now joins a family of 189 supermarkets in the Northeast. See Hannaford.com for more info or call the store: 625-5431.