Work starts on full-service supermarket for Penhold
Work is underway on a new grocery store that will make food shopping significantly easier for Penhold residents.
Over the next few months, a 16,000-square-foot building will be erected in front of Hawkridge Estates, just off of Hwy 2A in Penhold.
A 13,000-square-foot supermarket will fill most of the structure, with space for up to three other businesses also available.
The grocery store is a project of First Choice Family Foods, owner Gerry Knebel whose current store in the town is essentially a glorified convenience store at 2,500 square foot.
The new store will be a full-service operation with meat, produce and deli offerings, and a full gluten-free section.
Knebel also owns Blackfalds Family Foods.
He opened the store at 11,000 square feet in 2004, and expanded it by 7,000 square feet in 2008 due to the town’s growth and a corresponding increase in business.
With Penhold also experiencing significant growth — its 2012 municipal census showed a population of 2,476 — Knebel said this build is being done in anticipation of an expanding market.
“This is initially probably too big for Penhold, but I’m pretty sure that we’ll grow into it right away with all the development going on in town,” said Bert Eggink, a partner in the project and owner of Pearl Rose Construction, the company building the store.
Knebel said the store will feature all Safeway brands and offer competitive prices to larger supermarkets in Red Deer.
He said he expects to draw customers from Springbrook and the area to the new operation, in addition to the ever-increasing number of young families in Penhold proper.
The project is one of a few slated for the five-acre parcel of land across the highway from Penhold School.
Pharmacist Steven Busse has plans to build a pharmacy on the site, with the possibility of having a medical clinic and dentist’s office in an 8,000-square-foot space as well.
Mayor Dennis Cooper said the business area being developed along the highway will form the centrepiece of the downtown core the town is seeking to create.
The hope is for the store to open in March 2014. The existing Penhold Family Foods will stay in business until the larger operation opens.