By Cindy Jo Ayers
Southwest Georgia Oil Company’s Spencer Thomas has been making weekly trips to Trenton for the past several months. Thomas is one of the many people working to revamp the former Wal-Mart Express in Trenton into an entirely new shopping experience for our area. Thomas said on Monday that this new concept 11,600 square foot store will be the first of its kind in the state when it opens in March.
This new concept of onestop shopping will be called SunStop Market. Additional stores, one in Cross City and one in Headland, Alabama will open soon after the Trenton store. With one stop a customer can fuel their vehicle, buy a hot meal and pick up a weeks worth of groceries.
Each store will feature fresh vegetables, fresh cut meat and all the usual grocery items. The center part of the store will feature a large deli where you can pick up fresh cooked Southern fried chicken, fried catfish will be on the menu for Fridays, or a freshly made to order wrap or sub sandwich. The subs will be made with fresh baked bread from the store’s in-house bakery. The bakery will feature several types of breads and sweet treats like pies and cakes. The center section of the store will also feature a coffee bar, soup station and salad bar.
Those choosing to dine in can head to the dining area which is in the front part of the store. The dining area will have free wifi and seating for 20. The newly redesigned store will also have outside seating for 16 in a covered plaza area on the east side of the store.
A 20 head fountain machine as well as frozen drink machine and the usual chips and convenience store items will be located on the right side of the store.
Brandon Beil, Special Projects Manager for Southwest Georgia Oil, said on Monday, “We feel like we specialize in outrageous customer service at our stores and we plan to bring good customer service to the Trenton area.” Beil went on to explain that this new concept store will also have online shopping and customers will be able to place their orders for any item sold in the store and pay online. They can then drive down to SunStop Market and a grocery clerk will come out and load their grocery order into the customer’s car.
This new store should generate some 20-25 jobs for Gilchrist County. They will start taking applications soon.
A grand opening will be held when the store is ready to open sometime between the beginning of March to mid March. Thomas said the plans for this new concept onestop shopping market has taken their company over a year and a half to develop. He said they have had a great deal of input from department managers of their other stores such as Chris Sandlin in Bell, who runs the Scaff’s store meat department. Scaff’s, as well as 67 other stores, are owned by Southwest Georgia Oil Company.