Grocery Outlet opens to fanfare

Hundreds of people attended Grocery Outlet’s grand opening in Williams last Thursday. 

Many had stood in line for hours to be the store’s first customers. 

Chris and Cara Duncan, the independent owner-operators of the new Grocery Outlet, handed out over 200 gift cards ranging from $5 to $200. When they ran out of those, the couple handed out $3 off coupons. 

Still, the customers kept coming and no one appeared to leave empty-handed. 

“This store is a lifesaver,” said Kathleen Kingston, of Williams, who escorted her disabled neighbor Gina Prentice to the grand opening. 

With money tight, Prentice made sure to get in line by 7 AM so she would receive a gift card. When she opened it up to find $50 for free groceries, she almost shed tears.  

“This means a lot,” Prentice said. “I only had a few dollars left for the month.” 

For Angie Perez, the $50 gift card she received will go a long way, especially in an extreme value grocery store like Grocery Outlet. 

“This will feed my family for a week,” Perez said. 

Emeryville-based Grocery Outlet officials, who attended Thursday’s celebration, said the retail chain offers big savings on brand name products at more than 300 locations in California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Washington.

The new Williams Grocery Outlet carries a full range of products from fresh produce, meat, deli, and dairy to a wide assortment of natural and organic choices. The store also offers a large selection of beer and wine, health and beauty care, as well as seasonal items, said Marketing Director Alejandro Garibaldo.  

Most of those who attended the grand opening celebration said having the popular grocery giant will not only help them save on groceries, but gasoline typically spent to travel out of the county to shop. 

“These stores are great,” said Diane Schultz, of Williams, the first customer through the doors on Thursday. “They really make your money go far.” 

The Duncans, who moved to Williams about two months ago, said they were excited to become members of the local community. They plan to stay in Williams as they raise their family and grow their business. 

“We are honored to be a part of the Grocery Outlet family,” Chris Duncan said. “We’re excited to have a store that will serve Williams and all of Colusa County.”

The Duncans – and the new store – couldn’t have gotten a better reception. 

Williams Mayor, Alfred Sellers, Jr., said he was impressed that so many people took time out of their day to attend Grocery Outlet’s grand opening. 

“This store will be the pride of the community for years to come,” he said. 

Cindy Campbell, president of the local Chamber of Commerce, also welcomed Grocery Outlet to the community. 

“I can’t wait to see the success of this store for the citizens of Williams and Colusa County,” she said. “I can’t wait to see it happen.”

In addition to store coupons, gift cards, and grocery giveaways, the Duncans presented a $1,500 check to First 5 Colusa Children and Families Commission for programs that enhance the lives of all children, prenatal through age 5, through education, outreach, and systems change. ■