Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Food Lion spends millions to remodel its Hampton Roads stores

Bakery section at Food Lion in Virginia Beach (Photo by Julia Marsigliano/ HNNDaily)
Bakery section at Food Lion in Virginia Beach (Julia Marsigliano/HNNDaily)

Food Lion announced the re-opening of its Hampton Roads grocery stores during a news conference in front of a Food Lion in Virginia Beach Tuesday morning.

This Food Lion, 3960 Salem Lakes Blvd., was one of the latest grocery stores to be re-modeled as part of the company’s $168 million investment in all of its 105 Hampton Roads locations.

The grocery store chain, founded in 1957, has more than 1,000 stores in 10 states and has re-modeled 544 stores over the past four years, according to a news release from the company.

Food Lion recently bought three Farm Fresh grocery stores in Hampton, Virginia Beach and Elizabeth City, North Carolina from Farm Fresh’s parent company, SUPERVALU, and closed one of its Virginia Beach locations since it was near the newly acquired Farm Fresh store.

One of the new additions to the remodeled grocery stores is the increased amount of food options available to customers. The deli section now offers hand-breaded fried chicken, new deli meats, like Cajun roast beef, and a wing bar, with both boneless and bone-in hot wings.

Hillary Jordan, assistant store manager at Food Lion, said the deli now has different salads, such as chicken salad and egg salad that are made in the store daily. Customers can even add hand-pulled rotisserie chicken to their salads.

Wing Bar
Wing Bar at Food Lion in Virginia Beach (Photo by Julia Marsigliano/ HNNDaily)

Jordan, who has worked at Food Lion for 15 years, said all of the Food Lion re-modeled stores in Hampton Roads are essentially “set up the same way,” and even though Food Lion is a big grocery store chain, there is a “mom-and-pop feel to it.”

Customer Connie Beppard, of Virginia Beach, shops at Food Lion “all the time” and said the remodeled store is “nice.”

“It’s cleaner and the people are friendlier,” she said.

Twelve of the 105 re-modeled stores have walk-in coolers to regulate the temperature of produce and increase the products’ shelf life, said Rachelle Petteway, Food Lion spokeswoman.

Food Lion receives five fresh trucks a week so the produce can be rotated out, said Qua Powell, produce manager.

There are also more gluten-free and organic food options and more locally sourced produce and products.

“This farm can be a mile down the block,” she said.

Local produce section at Food Lion in Virginia Beach (Photo by Julia Marsigliano/ HNNDaily)
Local produce section at Food Lion in Virginia Beach (Julia Marsigliano/ HNNDaily)

The products are displayed in front of the aisles and range from honey, caramel, and craft root beer to fresh pasta, mayonnaise and barbecue sauce.

Food Lion has also hired and promoted a combined 4,000 associates in Hampton Roads and provided them with additional training and created new service positions within the grocery stores, said Meg Ham, Food Lion’s president.

Ham, who has worked for Food Lion and its sister company, Hannaford, for 30 years, started as an assistant store manager and worked her way up to CEO.

She understands that people make a choice when it comes to grocery shopping and that low prices are important to customers.

“Give us a try,” she said.

Julia Marsigliano
Julia Marsiglianohttp://wydaily.com
Julia Marsigliano is a multimedia reporter for WYDaily. She covers everything on the Peninsula from local government and law enforcement agencies to family-run businesses and weather updates. Before WYDaily, she covered Hampton and Newport News for WYDaily’s sister publication, HNNDaily before both publications merged in December 2018. Julia was born in Tokyo, Japan and moved to Long Island, New York in 2001. A true New Yorker, she loves pizza, bagels and good Chinese food. Send comments, tips and other tidbits to julia@localvoicemedia.com. You can follow her on Twitter at @jmarsigliano

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