By Jeremy Pittari, Item Staff Writer
The Picayune Item
A grocery store chain that began in Picayune is expanding with the grand opening of their second location in Waveland.
The Waveland location of Claiborne Hill opened its doors for the first time Thursday and the response from area shoppers has been good, said Store Coordinator Sam Leavy.
Leavy used to be president of the now defunct Schwegmann’s grocery stores, a chain of large stores in the New Orleans La., area, that Leavy says inspired the current larger grocery stores to incorporate banks, vision centers and other businesses within their doors. Leavy said at one time the Gentilly, La. location of Schwegmann’s was the largest grocery store in the world.
Now working at both the Picayune and Waveland locations of Claiborne Hill Leavy said the two locations offer products not carried by the larger stores who tend to stock only the basics. Specialty items are what set Claiborne Hill apart, Leavy said.
Picayune’s location has seafood and smoked meats departments, two things that are not at the Waveland location yet. However by February Leavy expects both of those departments to be added to the larger Waveland location. Being 25 percent larger than the Picayune location, the store in Waveland is the product of the renovation of an old 40,000 square foot Save-A-Center, of which 30,000 feet is being used, according to a previous story in the Item.
The larger space allows the Waveland location to carry specialty items the Picayune location does not have room for. However, Leavy said there is consideration to increase the stock of specialty items at the Picayune location.
Work on the Waveland location began about a year and a half ago, Leavy said. Delays were encountered due to last minute changes to the decor and the need to remodel the old building, Leavy said.
While Picayune’s location has six checkout lanes, Waveland’s location has nine checkout lanes. Leavy said quick service is key to the success of the store, which includes the ability to get customers in and out as quickly as possible to meet the time intensive demands of today’s working families.
“This type of store offers that,” Leavy said.
If the Waveland store is as successful as Leavy hopes there is consideration of opening a third location of the grocery store chain, though Leavy said a possible location has not been considered at this time.