published Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

Trenton getting Food Outlet

Ron Weeks, store manager for Food Outlet, an Alabama-based company that is moving into the former Food Lion building in Trenton, tightens a sign out front advertising for job applicants. The store is expected to open by November.
Ron Weeks, store manager for Food Outlet, an Alabama-based company that is moving into the former Food Lion building in Trenton, tightens a sign out front advertising for job applicants. The store is expected to open by November.
Photo by Ben Benton.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

To find out about the application process or for other information about Food Outlet, email trentonfoodoutlet@yahoo.com or call the Trenton store at 706-657-3300.

TRENTON, Ga. — Georgia's first Food Outlet grocery store will open in Trenton's former Food Lion building by November, and hiring is under way for as many as 50 jobs.

"This will be our seventh store," store manager Ron Weeks said. The 30,000-square-foot store will be in the Trenton Plaza.

"The opportunity came with the Food Lion stores closing down, and this seemed like a good place to be," Weeks said. "We want to bring some low-cost competition for people here to give them another option."

Food Outlet is a cost-plus-10-percent operation that will compete directly with the Bi-Lo and Ingles stores already in town, Weeks said Tuesday. Trenton's Food Lion store closed last winter as the company downsized its local footprint.

Food Outlet operates three stores in the Montgomery, Ala., area, two in Thomasville, Ala., and one in Waynesboro, Miss., he said.

The Trenton store will open sometime between Oct. 24 and Nov. 1, he said.

"We buy our groceries in bulk and give people a good price," Weeks said. Groceries on the shelf are marked with the store's cost, and 10 percent is added at the register, he said.

The store specializes in fresh-cut meat but will not have a deli or bakery. As company policy, Food Outlet stores do not sell alcohol or tobacco, he said.

Many jobs at the new store could go to former Food Lion employees, Weeks said, but the biggest need at the moment is meat cutters. The store is accepting applications.

Dade County Chamber of Commerce executive director Debbie Tinker and president Butch Raper say the rural community needed the jobs boost.

The chamber will team up with the Georgia Department of Labor for a jobs fair from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Oct. 4 at the Dade County Commission's public meeting room at the Dade County Administrative Building, just off the courthouse square, Tinker and Raper said.

The vacant building attracted attention from the start, officials said, but Food Outlet was the first to go from inquiries to a lease with the North Carolina company that owns the building.

Raper said the store's spot on the west side of town will attract folks from Sand Mountain who opted for other grocers away from Trenton after Food Lion closed.

about Ben Benton...

Ben Benton is a news reporter at the Chattanooga Times Free Press. He covers Southeast Tennessee and previously covered North Georgia education. Ben has worked at the Times Free Press since November 2005, first covering Bledsoe and Sequatchie counties and later adding Marion, Grundy and other counties in the northern and western edges of the region to his coverage. He was born and raised in Cleveland, Tenn., a graduate of Bradley Central High School. Benton ...

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