Shop Around

KJ's Market to open Wednesday in Columbia suburb (803) 771-8308February 20, 2014 

— Eight months after Food Lion closed its St. Andrews Road outlet, another grocery store is poised to take its place.

KJ’s Market will open Wednesday at 543 St. Andrews Road, bringing another option for residents who have lost easy access to fresh foods in recent years.

“We saw it as an opportunity to serve a market that’s not being properly served right now,” said John Symons, spokesman for IGA and KJ’s Market. “The customer, they don’t have a choice of where to shop. … We think we offer a very good alternative.”

Food Lion closed its St. Andrews store in May, a year after a nearby Kroger was shuttered. That left a three-mile stretch of St. Andrews Road – bookended by Bi-Lo stores and an Aldi – without a grocery store. Other grocery options are as far away as Harbison Boulevard.

KJ’s is new to the Columbia area. But residents might be familiar with its parent company, IGA, which has several stores in outlying Midlands areas.

The KJ’s brand is relatively new. It started four years ago in Georgia and has grown into the Florence market. It’s a brand IGA reserves for stores that offer more service and variety than the traditional IGA, Symons said.

“It just means there’s a little more in the store,” he said.

One of those extras is a hot bar in the deli area that will serve up options for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Another is the meat department, Symons said, which will offer a full range of meat products – from chicken feet typically used in making broth to pre-made pinwheels ready for the oven. Symons called seasoned meat department manager Bob Pritchard “our secret weapon.”

The store will offer organic produce, a floral department, a new line of deli meats and a service desk with bill-paying services, lottery ticket sales and coin-changing machines.

KJ’s also snagged an experienced IGA manager, DeWayne Brazzell, who managed its Gaston store for 20 years, to become St. Andrews manager.

The roughly 40,000-square-foot store will have 75 employees and be open seven days a week.

IGA had been looking to enter the Columbia market closer to downtown, Symons said. It has stores in outlying areas, including Gilbert and Blythewood. Company leaders liked the St. Andrews location because it was in a central location and was in an underserved area.

The St. Andrews store is the first of several planned for the Columbia area, Symons said.

Snag a deal

Daff-A-Deals at 10171 Two Notch Road in Northeast Richland has changed its name and business focus after 11 years in business, said Lyn Robinson, who owns the store with her husband, Stan, and daughter, Kahl Sanders.

The 2,100-square-foot store still sells children’s and maternity consignment clothing. But it also has taken in 25 vendors – from handmade pottery and children’s clothing to pallet wood furniture and jewelry made out of old neckties.

The store – across the street from Target – is now called Daff-A-Deals New Market Shoppes and Fine Consignment. The owners are having a sale Saturday to celebrate the store’s anniversary and welcome its new vendors.

The event will feature a variety of deals and drawings for a $100 gift card, $50 in cash and Kate Spade handbag, Robinson said.

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