The line of shoppers stretched around the block as the Food Lion held the grand opening and ribbon cutting of their brand new Conyers location at 7:45 a.m. Wednesday morning.
Gail Ellis, the first person in the line of more than 300 shoppers, said she was one of the first five people to arrive at 5:30 a.m. "There were four people in front of me, but I was the first one to jump out of the car," said Ellis, a Barksdale Elementary School educator.
Shoppers Leon and Sandy Bohanon said they arrived at 6:45 a.m. to secure their place in line. The Bohanons admitted main draw was the free bag of groceries being given away to the first 300 shoppers, but they said they were happy to see the grocery store open on Highway 212. "Kroger is closer, but Kroger doesn't always have the better deal," said Leon.
As the shoppers poured into the shiny new store stocked with sales and goods, Store Manager Jerome Johnson breathed a sigh of relief and likened it to having a baby finally be born.
Inside, before opening the doors, Director of Operations Aaron Carlisle pumped up the crowd with rallying cries of "Food Lion rocks!" with the 60-plus employees, officials and Chamber of Commerce members gathered for the grand opening.
"We only get one moment to make a first impression," he reminded the employees.
Store Manager Jerome Johnson also presented a check for $500 to Barksdale Elementary School and $500 to Honey Creek Elementary School.