WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) ─ William Hancock was there early Friday morning when the first Market Basket location in Rhode Island opened its doors.
“I love being number one!” he said.
This isn’t the first time Hancock has been the first customer to ever enter a brand new store.
“I have been the number one customer at Dave’s Market, Market Basket, Trader Joe’s, you name it, I’m number one,” he said.
Construction on the new grocery store, which is located off Route 2 (Bald Hill Road) in Warwick, began back in June. The building was previously a Sam’s Club and most recently housed At Home.
The supermarket’s grand opening coincided with the state’s lifting of many of it’s COVID-19 restrictions on businesses. Retail and grocery stores, restaurants, gyms and churches are once again allowed to operate at 100% with no social distancing requirements.
With no capacity limits or social distancing requirements, customers filled the new grocery store
The new store includes Market’s Kitchen and Café, the Market Basket Butcher Block, Niji Sushi and more than 50,000 food items, including organic, vegan and plant-based products. There are also a variety of Rhode Island products available for purchase.
Hancock said this was also his first time ever shopping at a Market Basket. He said his experience was “fantastic.”
“I got a carriage full [of items],” Hancock said, adding that he plans on being a regular customer.
It was originally thought the first Market Basket location in Rhode Island would open in Johnston, but that store’s opening date has yet to be announced.
Market Basket was founded 104 years ago and currently operates 88 other stores throughout Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine.
Prior to the Warwick location, Rhode Island’s nearest Market Basket was in South Attleboro, close to the Pawtucket border.