/ Articles / New LDF Country Market opens doors to public
After almost eight years in the making, the brand new LDF Country Market opened its doors to the public on Wednesday, June 3. Tribal Council members along with LDF Business Development Corp. staff and other community members came to witness the ceremonial ribbon cutting done by president Joseph Wildcat, Sr., and general manager George Carufel.
President Wildcat, Sr. made the opening remarks and expressed gratitude to everyone involved in making the project a successful one, including recognizing the front line store employees who have continued to work during the pandemic.
Upon walking inside the new store is the produce department, including fruits, vegetables and smoothie drinks.
Heading into the expanded meat department, the selection is well stocked, and the popular homemade brats were boasting new flavors. The deli counter is much larger than the previous one, with some new and exciting menu items.
Corporate retail director Dan Bonavia said they broke ground almost a year ago to the day, but that all the years of planning and discussions made it that much more exciting to see the project finally come to fruition.
“People seem very pleased and excited to have everything in one building now,” Bonavia said. “We’re getting a lot of positive feedback on the size of the produce department, the new deli, and the expanded meat department. It’s just so much more shoppable.”
The LDF Smoke Shop, which was down the road in the Adaawe Mall, has now been incorporated into the new store. This gives shoppers an opportunity to check out the gift section, as well as the healthy snacks to-go option in a nearby cooler.
Shoppers will also enjoy the new beer cave, which offers many different selections for those interested in adult beverages.
“I think the deli will be a huge hit with customers now that it’s open again,” Bonavia said. “Just re-launching that and getting people back in will be a big draw for us.”
The new store layout gives it a much more spacious feel, and allows shoppers to cruise the aisles without feeling crammed together, which is especially important during this time of COVID-19 and social distancing guidelines. The store does have an employee posted out front to limit customers entering to 20 people at a time. While masks aren’t mandatory, it is appreciated. Mask can be purchases for $1 before heading inside for those who didn’t bring their own.
“This is a big deal for our community, and we hope that people will want to shop here more now instead of having to leave and go other places,” general manager George Carufel said. “Our objective is to serve the community, and we will listen to what consumers want and need. I hope we are there with our goals, if not, hopefully we are getting closer.”