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Smith's celebrates store renovation

Jun 27, 2013 - By Alejandra Silva, Staff Writer

Doors opened on a remodeled Smith's Food and Drug store Wednesday morning during a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 1200 W. Main St.

Employees, Smith's executives, residents, public officials and others who had a part in the renovation celebrated the change.

"We hope everyone comes to take a look at the new store," manager James Kraft said. "We're pleased with what we're bringing to Riverton. ... It's a better place to shop."

The remodel includes a reorganization of the interior of the store. For instance, the selection of flowers and plants were moved to the front of the store, and the dairy department has been expanded.

The grocer now will offer additional organic fruits and vegetables, and a renovated cafe area sits near the bakery and deli section. The freezers are equipped with track lighting that turns on and off depending on nearby activity, and new tables and paint freshen up the 53,000-square foot store. Most noticeable is the two-vehicle drive thru pharmacy window.

The first customers at the ribbon-cutting ceremony received free breakfast items, coupons, cupcakes, doughnuts, coffee and raffle tickets to win an iPad.

Project manager Brian Whittam said the renovation began at the end of April and required a lot of moving around inside the store to keep the shopping experience and construction flowing efficiently.

"We're glad to make the changes," Whittam said. "There's been a lot of positive comments."

District store manager Jim Dye said he had attended four other grand reopenings for Smith's stores in Wyoming and neighboring states. The upgrades, he said, are important to incorporate in all communities to satisfy the shopper and his needs.

He also presented a donation of $1,000 from Smith's to Set Free Ministries of Riverton.

"They're a big part of our ministry," said Set Free Women's Home director Rhonda Martin.

"They've been really supportive and friendly," Pastor Richard Mills said. "The employees we deal with are extremely helpful."

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