“It’s been a long time coming.” This quote was repeated over and over again by the many residents who attended the Grand Opening of the new Cooper’s Foods store last Tuesday afternoon. There was lot to see and do, but many could not seem to believe their eyes at the size of the store and quantity of new products on the shelves of the bright new space.
“It is beautiful.”
“Wow can you believe this?”
“We so deserve a store like this.”
Years in the making culminated into a lot of anticipation as the construction of the new store began. Manager Rob Betts looked like a proud father as he greeted the public into the store for the first time. Betts thanked Rodney Bell of Norson Construction and his competent crew as well as all the team members who were away from their families to get the store together for opening day.
Steve van der Leest President of OVerwaitea Food Group said, “what’s always made Overwaitea Food Group Special is the team members…the people. This is the nicest store in our company and the people inside our store are amazing people. Folks here know how great the people are in this store.”
The new store has a bigger dairy, bigger frozen food section, more bulk foods, more product lines, self scan tills, a bakery, a deli and “everything you need.” The deli has 100 different kinds of cheeses, sixty-seven varieties of meats sliced on demand and more.
Cooper’s Foods employs fifty-six people within the community. “We have a great team committed and here to serve you,” added Betts. The store includes a history wall with old photos and a teapot clock. Cooper’s Foods, was founded by Ron Cooper in 1957. Overwaitea was founded in 1915 and has been in Princeton since 1933, so the history wall seems fitting.
“Our support and thanks goes out to our spouses,” said an appreciative Betts. Numerous previous managers were in attendance for the opening including the Mike Talarico who recently retired from the chain.
“This store fits in with our community vision. It is a phenomenal space,” stated Mayor Randy McLean. “When we were looking at the plan for the Cooper’s project we were hoping for a show piece and you absolutely came through with that. Thank-you for adding to our downtown core.”
Last, but not least, Betts made an emotional thank-you to his wife. You have been the biggest supporter of my career, given me four beautiful children and are very special to me. Betts presented Joellen with a beautiful bouquet of flowers.
The opening was fun and momentous day for the community. With only one large food store, the old Overwaitea had long ago outgrown its use. Prizes and fast draw shooting demonstrations were a part of the fun. Cooper’s handed out hotdogs and pop and Smart bread sandwich containers at the opening. Betts was handed over the key to the store and said, “We welcome everyone and hope you enjoy.”