The day many residents on Minot's North Hill have been waiting for finally arrived Thursday as Marketplace Foods officially opened its newest grocery store complex.
A celebratory ceremony was held late in the morning, with ribbon cuttings in front of the entrances to both Marketplace Foods and True Value hardware store.
Keith Johanneson, president of Johanneson Companies, said when the Souris River flood of 2011 happened and damaged the Arrowhead Shopping Center location, they knew they needed to do something to replace the store and continue servicing that neighborhood, as well as the residents on North Hill.
A long line of people waiting for a free lunch winds outside of Marketplace Foods on North Hill Thursday. The complex held its grand opening yesterday afternoon, and a large crowd turned out to celebrate.
"It took quite a while to put this together so we put Arrowhead back together and then on top of that we built this facility," Johanneson said. "And the people on North Hill are very grateful. This is their store and we heard nothing but good comments last night (Wednesday)."
Johanneson was referring to a neighborhood open house held at the store in which all of North Hill was invited. It gave residents a chance to get a sneak peek at the store before Thursday's official grand opening and also allowed Marketplace Foods to express its gratitude to its newest neighbors.
"We had kind of a smorgasbord buffet and we had a couple thousand people through here and everyone had a wonderful time," Johanneson said.
North Hill Marketplace Foods
North Hill Marketplace Foods is located at 2211-16th Street NW. Hours of operation are Monday through Sunday from 6 a.m. to midnight. The phone number is 857-4060.
Looking around inside the new store, Johanneson said the final product far exceeded his expectations, both with its beauty and how it fits into the community.
"The variety of product that's in here, the perishable presentation, it just far exceeded what I expected we would end up doing," Johanneson said.
A new grocery store isn't all that will fill the complex. Housing and additional retail space is also being built. In addition to the grocery and liquor stores, there is a Thrifty White Drug, MP Express gas station with Shell products, and a True Value hardware store. Johanneson's Inc., which owns Marketplace Foods, also owns the True Value store.
In the near future a fitness center, SOS Image, will also open its doors. Johanneson said that business hopes to be open toward the end of August.
"It's a spectacular facility with a beauty salon, a 24-hour fitness facility and we're really excited about it," Johanneson said. "We think it will be the premier fitness facility in town."
A little further into the future will be a new location for First Western Bank & Trust.
"We worked with Jack Hoeven of First Western Bank and he purchased an outlot and he'll be building a complex similar in architectural integrity to this building," Johanneson said. "It's a two-story building and they anticipate starting (construction) in a couple of weeks."
Although he had no direct knowledge of the bank's time line, Johanneson guessed that it might be ready in time for a spring opening next year.
As for other future plans, Johanneson said once the complex is full it will have around 30 retail businesses on its 25 acres.
"This is just the beginning," he said.