On Wednesday, the managers at Big John’s Market in Healdsburg opened their doors to impatient customers lined up waiting to shop at a newly expanded and refurbished store. Owners John and Kim Lloyd were on hand to shepherd the soft opening of the store, now doubled in size at 34,000 square feet.
The Lloyds and their staff worked overnight moving and stocking the new sections. They remained on hand to guide customers through the store and into the grocery section, which remains in the southernmost portion of the store.
“Comments so far have been 100 percent positive,” John Lloyd said. People are walking through the new entrance with exclamations of delight over the changes.
Work continues on the section that once included the kitchen, meat and deli departments, which currently divides the store. Work is expected to be complete in April. They expect to hold a grand opening celebration at that time.
The expansion includes a satellite Costeaux Bakery, a pizzeria and expanded sections in every department. A section of the new cheese department is devoted to local cheese makers. In addition, the new kitchen is four times the size of the old one.
According to the Lloyds, their employees are their greatest asset, and they continue to be the backbone of the store. They expect to hire an additional 12 to 15 employees to work in the expanded store.
They broke ground in September 2014. Eddinger Enterprises is the general contractor.