New grocery store coming to Waveland

By Al Showers - bio | email

BAY ST. LOUIS, MS (WLOX) -- Waveland Mayor Tommy Longo could hardly contain his excitement.

"We're here to announce that after over three years, we have a grocery store coming to Hancock County, to Waveland."

Mayor Longo called the new store the perfect fit for his city because it will be a big store with a neighborhood atmosphere, family owned and operated.

He says, "If any of you are familiar with Claiborne Hill out of Picayune -- it's been there 25 years in Picayune -- they also own that store."

The new Claiborne Hill will be located inside of the old SAVE-A-CENTER Supermarket building on Highway 90. Before Katrina there were 5 grocery stores South of I-10 in the Bay-Waveland area. The Wal-mart Super Center was the only grocery store to return after the storm.

Store co-owner, Garrett Acquistapace, says, "It's basically going to be a brand new building, except for the shell. We plan on making the entrance on the corner of the building, doing a facade on both sides."

According to Longo, "This is the biggest thing to hit Waveland since hurricane Katrina. It makes us a destination shopping point again, it's good for our small businesses. It's good for our economy."

Attracting a grocery store hasn't been easy. At least ten potential deals have fallen through over the past three years.

Tish Williams, Executive Director of the Hancock County Chamber of Commerce, says, "If you polled the people of Hancock County today, they would tell you that the number one issue is, we want a grocery store. Today their prayers have been answered."

The company will hire between 75 and 100 people, and promises a deli, a seafood and meat department with old fashion butchers with store-wide competitive prices.

The company is making a 4 million dollar investment in the new store. The Highway 90 building was heavily damaged during hurricane Katrina. After the extensive renovation work is completed, owners hope to open in early fall of next year or as soon as possible.