GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - The new Rouses in Gulfport was bustling with activity Tuesday as the staff prepared for the grand opening. The regional, chain grocery store is moving across the street on Pass Road and will open its new and improved store Wednesday.
"We're just doing the final touches and making sure we're ready for that grand opening tomorrow," said store director Robert Strahan.
Over the last eight months Strahan has watched the building transformed from what was a Winn Dixie to a fully upgraded Rouses.
“It’s been what we’ve been working for the last few months, and to have this end result is very exciting,” said Strahan.
What makes Strahan excited are the options customers will have to choose from, including a full service deli-bakery.
“We’ll have cooking right in front of you. You just order, and they’ll prepare it right in front of you,” said Strahan. “With this, we’ll have a sit down area where you can sit down and enjoy your meal. We didn’t have that at the old store.”
If customers can’t stay, they’ll be able to take freshly prepared meals home.
“With the busy lifestyle everybody loves now, just let us do the work for you,” Strahan said. “You come in, grab it, go warm it up at home, and it’s ready. We’ve got it here for the whole family.”
Kenneth Jones is the regional director for Rouses and oversees ten stores including three on the Coast. With a focus on freshness, Jones believes the store will satisfy all tastes.
“The feel is much different because we’re offering a brand new variety of shops inside the store,” said Jones.
Along with prepared food, your typical grocery items, fresh seafood and coffee ready to be grounded, customers can also enjoy rare selections like dry aged beef.
“Now, you don’t have to go to Slidell and different places. We’ll have it right here in Gulfport for you,” said Strahan.
With the doors ready to be opened, Rouses management says the new amenities and upgrades show a significant investment in the Coast community.
“Going from our store across the road on Pass Road to our new store right on the other side of Pass Road has just been something fun to watch,” said Jones.
The store opens at 7:00 a.m. on Wednesday. The first 200 customers will receive special discounts.