PORT ANGELES — Work on Super Saver Foods, which is moving into the former Haggen building in Port Angeles, is ahead of schedule and the grocery store is set to open by May 1, said its owner, Greg Saar.
“We’re a couple weeks ahead of ourselves,” he said. “We’re on track for late April or the first of May.”
Saar said within the next couple months he’ll have a better idea of exactly when the store will open.
Saar purchased the shuttered Haggen grocery store in August for $1.56 million in an auction, well below its appraisal of $4.8 million taxable value.
Saar said he anticipates hiring 75 to 85 people to work at the store. He is transferring a produce manager, meat manager and store manager from other locations, but will be accepting applications in the coming months for the dozens of other available positions.
“Hiring will come later,” he said. “We’re trying to get our key positions filled [now.]”
The Port Angeles location will have a deli and a bakery, he said. Its big focus will be on ethnic foods and will boast large selections of Asian and Hispanic foods.
Though the Port Angeles area isn’t as diverse as some of the other areas the store serves, he’s confident people will be interested in the variety.
He credited Port Angeles city officials and local contractors, plumbers and electricians for speeding up remodeling efforts on the 47,000-square-foot building.
“It’s been a class act as far as Port Angeles being accommodating and helping us go through the process,” he said. “We’ve been elated with how the city of Port Angeles has worked with us.”
He said local contractors have “done a great job,” on the remodel and that everything so far is going smoothly.
“That’s what helps us stay ahead of schedule,” he said.
Saar said that a delay of the equipment could push back the opening date.
Now crews are focusing on adding shelving, equipment in the store and other work.
“We basically took all the tile off the floor,” he said.
This isn’t the first time Saar has owned a grocery store in Port Angeles, although he expects a better outcome this time.
He said in October he believes the new store will be able to compete in the Port Angeles market, unlike the previous Saar’s Market Place that closed in 2011.
The former store, a 25,000-square-foot store on the east side of Port Angeles, is about half the size of Saar’s new building, which is more than 47,000 square feet.
The former Haggen grocery store building has been empty since April 2016 after Haggen Northwest Fresh announced it would sell most of its stores to Albertsons.
The Port Angeles store didn’t make the list after Bellingham-based Haggen accepted Albertsons’ $106 million bid to buy 29 of its 32 core stores.
Reporter Jesse Major can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56250, or at [email protected].