“Mark unlocked one door and I unlocked the other one,” co-owner Phillip Bozeman said. “There were already people lining up and it’s been busy all day.”
The store is located in the old Food World building, which had been empty since the city’s only grocery store closed three years ago.
“We’ve been working on the building since December,” co-owner Mark Bozeman said. “We’ve completely renovated the building, inside and out.”
Those renovations include custom Pig signs in every department, a full-service bakery and deli and an open, spacious floor plan. The parking lot has also been repaved and restriped, in advance of opening day.
“I’m just thrilled that we got a store in and that it’s a good store,” Dora Mayor Chris Edwards, who was one of the store’s first customers on Wednesday, said. “It’s something we can all be proud of, and we can be proud of the people who are running the store and what they believe in and how they want the store to grow and prosper.”
The Bozeman brothers already own and operate a smaller grocery store in Sumiton and have had other stores around the county.
“We’re excited to be open in Dora,” Mark Bozeman said. “I think we’ll do well here, the community wants it, is willing to support it and we’re glad to be here.”
Community support is important to the brothers, who encourage people to buy from locally owned stores whenever possible.
“When people spend their dollar here or at Bozeman’s in Sumiton, we turn around and do the same thing,” Phillip Bozeman said. “We hire local people and shop in local businesses, so that same dollar stays in the community.”
This was the store’s “soft opening,” the official grand opening will be held in May.
“This gives us a chance to get the kinks worked out,” Mark Bozeman said. “We can get our help situated so we can take care of the customers.”
Grand opening or not, customers Wednesday were excited to have another choice for grocery shopping in the area.
“We are so happy,” customer Brenda Pate said. “We’re from Cordova, and when that store blew away, for us it was like it took the life out of Cordova. We are so excited to see this open and the prices are so wonderful. We weren’t real happy with the competition.”