Now, the commissary's three phase expansion is complete and plans are underway for a new facility.
"I didn't have a clue the deli was opening today, and I just got lucky and I'm really glad I showed up when I did," said shopper Jeanette Kopp.
Kopp and others waited in line for special cuts of meat at the commissary's new deli. It opened Monday morning and marked the last phase of a three phase expansion at the commissary.
"It's been a work in progress. We've been trying to get it open since October, but it's been one thing after another. We finally got it open today," said store director, Gordy Harris.
This last phase of expansion included other enhancements, and altogether cost more than $700,000.
Harris says it's a good investment.
"The commissary is the premier benefit of the military. They can still save over 30-percent, especially on meat or produce. The savings are 30- to 40- percent. Across the board, a family of four can save something like $2,900 a year," Harris said.
While people are already making the most of the existing commissary, plans for a new $39 million Commissary are already in the making.
"The new commissary will be about the same size of the old one. The beauty of this one is we'll be able to utilize the space better, and we'll be able to pick up 25-percent more space, a full 10,000 square feet more sales floor, have all the bells and whistles, self-serve registers, sushi bars, barbeque chicken, everything you could think of," Harris said.
The new commissary is slated to be completed by Spring of 2009.
Keesler's total economic impact for Fiscal Year 2006 has been calculated at almost $1.3 billion.