Food City to open Fort Oglethorpe store next week

A Food City grocery store sign is shown is this file photo. (Bob Fowler/News Sentinel)

For the second time in as many weeks, Food City will open a new grocery store next week in North Georgia.

The Abingdon, Virginia-based grocery chain, which opened a new 48,600-square-foot supermarket Wednesday on Walnut Avenue in Dalton, Georgia, plans to open a similar size grocery store Wednesday on Highway 41 just south of the state line in Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia.

Food City President Steve Smith said Thursday the new supermarket at 150 Highway 41 at Scruggs Road is part of a $10 million development Food City is building to replace its former East Ridge supermarket on Ringgold Road next to the Flea Market just off Exit 1 on Interstate 75, which closed last April. That store was originally built as a Red Food Store in 1974 and operated under the Red Food, Bi-Lo and Food City brands before its lease expired last year and Food City moved ahead with plans for the replacement store.

"We're glad to be able to bring a new store to this area and it sits in Georgia, which has a little bit of a (sales) tax advantage for customers," Smith said. "We own this store, unlike the leased store it replaces, and we've got a couple of outparcels in this center for development as well."

The new Fort Oglethorpe store on Highway 41 will also include one of the in-store branch locations for the Tennessee Valley Federal Credit Union (TVFCU), the largest credit union in the Chattanooga area. TVFCU operates a number of satellite offices which feature remote connections with tellers at the credit union's main office in downtown Chattanooga.

The new Food City stores have about 100 to 140 full- and part-time workers each. The new Dalton store that opened this week is managed by Jackie Bills, who previously ran the other Dalton store, Smith said.

"We've been pleased with our Dalton store on the north side of the city and we think that our new store on West Walnut Street is on a great business corridor and offers a lot of opportunity for growth," he said.

The new Dalton store, which Smith said represents about an $8 million investment in the property, building and equipment, is built where a Kmart store once operated before its closing.

Food City parent K-VA-T operates about 130 retail outlets throughout Southeast Kentucky, Southwest Virginia, East Tennessee and North Georgia.

Contact Dave Flessner at or at 757-6340