Weed Grocery Outlet's opening draws a crowd

Liz Pyles
Rodney Barr, local owner of the new Weed Grocery Outlet, presents Siskiyou Food Assistance Executive Director Denise Spayd with a check for $1,000 during the store's opening day, Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017. The store planned to donate $1,000 in gift cards to SFA in a Facebook challenge to receive 1000 likes. By Liz Pyles

Hundreds of shoppers had already been through the checkout stands in the first three hours that the Weed Grocery Outlet Bargain Market was open Thursday, said owner Rodney Barr. Occasionally a bell would ring when someone saved a $100 or more.

“We’re pleased with this store,” said Mary Gonzalez, who was shopping with her husband Alfred. “I found products I never thought I’d find in Weed, and I found it here,” she said. They said they have been doing most of their shopping out of town.

Thursday, Grocery Outlet celebrated its opening day with a ribbon cutting attended by Weed Mayor Ken Palfini and Mayor Pro-tem Bob Hall, along with representatives of the Weed and Mount Shasta Chambers of Commerce, Weed City administrators, Siskiyou Food Assistance, 15 to 20 Grocery Outlet corporate representatives and dozens of customers.

“With both city chambers and city officials there, that shows a lot of support for us,” Rodney Barr said.

Weed Mayor Ken Palfini said the store is locally owned and is a boost for the local economy.

Weed Chamber member Dawnie Slabaugh said they are “excited to have a Grocery Outlet in town.”

Before the ribbon cutting, Barr presented a check for $1,000 to Siskiyou Food Assistance Executive Director Denise Spayd. Grocery Outlet pledged $1 to SFA for every like on its Facebook page up to 1,000.

Spayd said 70% of their clients live on $900 a month and she is looking forward to them being able to afford food on their own now with Grocery Outlet.

College of the Siskiyous students and baseball players Noah Serrano from Las Vegas and Brent Dean from Phoenix, Ariz., said the store is nice and “definitely affordable.” They both live off-campus and said they like that the price and a comparison price was posted for items.

“We have to make our own food. We’re athletes so were always eating,” they said.

Fred Obermiller from Lake Shastina said the store has a good produce and meat selection. He was “happily surprised.” Obermiller said he’s been shopping in Medford at Costco, Walmart and Food 4 Less. “This means I don’t have to go up there.”

Other customers echoed Obermiller’s comment that they usually shop out of town and now they don’t have to.

Some like Slabaugh said they were already Grocery Outlet shoppers and are happy to have one in Weed.

Customers were treated to a chili lunch catered by The Garden Party with their $10 purchase.

At 4 p.m., Barr said in a phone call that the store was still busy and had been all day. “It’s crazy, good,” he said.