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FoodFair coming to Ceredo

Feb. 04, 2013 @ 11:02 PM

CEREDO -- The 15th FoodFair location will open later this year in Ceredo, taking up a third of the 101,000 square feet of space that used to house Big Bear at Ceredo Plaza along U.S. 60 and 4th Street.

Ceredo Mayor Otis Adkins and the members of the town council celebrated the announcement at Monday night's meeting by presenting FoodFair President Tim Forth with a plaque and key to the city.

They both said the ceremony might be viewed as over the top, but Adkins said having a community grocery store means that much.

"We've been without a grocery store for nine years," Adkins said. "The economic impact is certainly important; but more than revenue, it's what it will do for the citizens."

Plans to bring a FoodFair to Ceredo have been ongoing for at least the past three years, Forth said. The biggest hurdle has been the size of the old Big Bear and the difficulty in parceling it out. Forth credited Adkins and council members for brokering the deal with the property owner. He said he hopes to have the store open in May and expects to have a staff of about 40.

He said Foodfair -- which has locations in Coal Grove, South Point, Proctorville and Pomeroy, Ohio; Greenup, Grayson, Flatwoods and Ashland, Ky.; and Lavalette, Barboursville, Poca, Huntington, Ravenswood and Culloden, W.Va. -- is small enough to be a neighborhood grocer, but big enough to be competitive.

"It's real simple," Forth said. "We're just hometown people serving hometown people."

After the presentation, Adkins asked council to support a tax break for FoodFair to the tune of $100,000, which received unanimous approval. The incentive will reduce the business and occupation tax from a 0.5 percent to 0.25 percent until the $100,000 in savings is met.

"It's hard to imagine not having a grocery store in your community," Adkins said, adding that the store also will serve the communities in Kenova, Buffalo and Westmoreland. "We appreciate the investment you're making in our city."

In the long run, both Adkins and Forth said they believe the foot traffic the store will create will make the remaining 70,000 square feet easier for the property owner to lease.

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