Save-On-Foods hopes to carve out niche in crowded grocery market

Officials and Saved-On-Foods employees cut the ribbon to officially open the new Prince Albert Store on April 19. Save-On-Foods president Darrell Jones is standing near the centre of the photo to the left of Prince Albert Mayor Greg Dionne. Store manager Warren McGlone is standing to the left of Darrell Jones. (Daily Herald Staff photo)

Store celebrated grand opening Thursday night

There may be many grocery stores in the city, but Prince Albert’s newest store thinks it has the right ingredients to stand out from the pack.

Save-On-Foods held its Prince Albert grand opening celebration Thursday night, adding its name to the selection of grocery stores in this city, a list that includes Safeway, Superstore, Harold’s Family Foods, Co-Op and more. The store is located in the Cornerstone shopping district, across Sixth Avenue from Superstore.

Despite the crowded market, Save-On-Foods president Darrell Jones thinks this store has what the others don’t.

“How many places have got a hot wing bar? Or a frozen yogurt bar?” he asked. “We’ve got the best sushi you’ll find anywhere, restaurant quality sushi. We’re talking about fresh. I’ll show you our fresh meat case where we have sausages made here, blueberry-infused sausages, chicken kale sausages, things you aren’t going to find anywhere else, at any place other than Save-On-Foods. We’d like to think we’re bringing a little uptown pizzazz to the people of Prince Albert. There’s nobody in town who’s going to have anything that approaches this.”

Those fresh offerings, Jones says, are what make this store stand out. It’s the second Saskatchewan store opened this month. A Saskatoon store opened just two weeks ago.

“We’ve very excited to be here in Prince Albert and to open this new store. It’s a store we put together and laid out specifically for the people here in Prince Albert. We hope they’ll like it. We’re here to earn their business, to earn their trust and to become a part of this community.”

Save-On-Foods president Darrell Jones shows off the new Prince Albert store’s made in-house sausages during a tour on April 19, 2018. (Peter Lozinski/Daily Herald)

Jones said the company took a look at Prince Albert and determined there was room in the marketplace for another grocery store. He pointed out the city used to have a Sobeys and Safeway, and that it has a good population to support more grocery options.

Store manager Warren McGlone came to the store from Winnipeg. He’s been in Prince Albert for three months, and so far, he’s enjoying himself.

“I couldn’t be more excited. I got out here three months ago, and I’ve been thinking about this day ever since,” he said.

“It’s finally here. I’m excited to show the people of Prince Albert this kind of store. I think they’re going to be amazed.

“It’s beautiful out here (in Prince Albert). You’ve got the trees and the lakes and all that stuff, so I’m excited to be here.”

While McGlone agrees with Jones about the unique selection of the store, he also mentioned its staff and their commitment to customer service as a reason he thinks the store will succeed.

“”Always the customer first. That’s our slogan, and going the extra mile,” he said.

“That sets us apart, our customer service.”

For Jones, opening the store isn’t just a chance to expand Save-On-Foods’ market reach, it’s also a chance to get engaged in a new community.

“We’re here to sell groceries, but we’re also here to become part of our community. We’re all about helping,” he said.

“We want to do our part to give back to the communities we’re in. That’s very important to us. That’s a cornerstone of who we are at Save-On-Foods.”