The Vinton Kroger on Hardy Road celebrated its grand-reopening with a ribbon-cutting on November 6.
Store Leader Bruce Molnar welcomed guests, including many Kroger executives and representatives from Vinton town staff and government.
Sherri Fullen sang the National Anthem while members of the Roanoke County Fire Department raised the flag that flies daily over the parking lot.
Molnar recognized and thanked the leaders of various departments in the Vinton Kroger for their work each day serving customers saying, “I should be standing behind them up here instead of in front; they give all they have.”
He also thanked, in particular, Kroger Facilities Engineer Jason Sandzimier for his work on the remodeling project.
The Kroger corporation spent about $3.2 million in extensive renovations to the store, which now is not only sparkling and bright, but includes a full-service Starbucks, a Growler bar with beer and wine, an expanded bakery and deli, a salad bar, culinary kiosks for Home Chef meals and sushi, new cases for meat and seafood, new décor, a new lighting package, re-polished floors, and new signage on the walls, the aisles, and the ceiling.
Molnar presented $500 checks to representatives from four local non-profits and elementary schools, including Lee Clark from the Rescue Mission, Cindy Dickerson from the William Byrd High School PTSO, Herman L. Horn Principal Julie Sandzimier, and W. E. Cundiff Principal Ashley McCallum.
He announced that not only was the day a celebration of the Vinton Kroger grand re-opening, but a celebration of Kroger’s 90th anniversary in the Roanoke Valley. The Daleville Kroger celebrated the completion of its remodeling on the same day, and also presented a total of $2000 in donations to four non-profits.
“We’re lucky to have such an engaged group of associates at our Vinton and Daleville stores,” said Allison McGee, corporate affairs manager for Kroger Mid-Atlantic. “Coming together as a community is something that’s in our DNA at Kroger and recognizing these eight local organizations our associates are passionate about is the perfect way to celebrate the completion of these remodels.”
“The community has been good to Kroger over the years and today we get to show our appreciation to our customers and eight non-profits groups that take care of the Roanoke community,” McGee stated, and Molnar echoed.
Vinton Mayor Brad Grose congratulated Molnar on the renovations and expansions to the store and thanked Kroger for their community involvement over the years, as the two cut the ceremonial ribbon.
“Kroger brings a lot to the community,” said Grose. “There is not only awesome shopping, but employment opportunities. They have become a part of our community and our families.”
He joked that his wife, Debby, used to bid him goodbye each day with “I love you,” but now she adds “Don’t forget the Starbucks.”
Molnar thanked the Vinton customers for sticking by the store throughout the years and especially during several months of remodeling, which actually was virtually seamless for customers other than products being shifted around the store. The store remained open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, except on four nights during the entire remodeling process. Renovations got underway in late March 2019.
Molnar has spent 41 years with the Kroger corporation and quite a few (approximately 14) of those in management at the Vinton Kroger where he has developed a reputation for generosity to the community.
He thanked his “four girls”–his wife, two daughters and new granddaughter–for their support, remarking that God has truly blessed his life.
Kroger Mid-Atlantic, based in Roanoke, operates more than 100 stores in Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Ohio. The Mid-Atlantic Division employs about 14,000 associates, including approximately 185 at the Vinton Kroger.
Kroger Mid-Atlantic has been dedicated to eliminating hunger in the communities it serves through partnerships with nine Feeding America food banks and numerous local organizations.
The grocer’s Zero Hunger/Zero Waste efforts are aimed at ending hunger in Kroger communities and eliminating waste in stores by 2025. Kroger also supports breast cancer research, the military and their families, and more than 4,000 non-profit organizations. Kroger Mid-Atlantic donated $5.5 million to charity last year and an estimated $3.3 million pounds of food to food bank partners.