By Patrick Yost
On Wednesday, Jan. 30 Ingles grocery store will introduce a concept that Manager Chip Scanland has been pushing for since he arrived five years ago.
At 6 a.m. a Starbucks counter will open. The counter is situated just beyond the front door on the north entrance near the new Chinese food and deli operation and its an addition that Scanland says customers have been looking forward to for months.
“They can’t wait, he says. “I bet I’ve had 30 customers tell me they want to be the first customer on opening day.”
Ingles has undergone several renovations in the last two months but none so noticeable as the Starbucks location. Scanland said he began lobbying corporate to be one of the Ingles locations to also house a Starbucks.
Scandland said there are currently 210 Ingles grocery stores and when the Madison location opens Starbucks on Jan. 30 it will be the 78th store to house a Starbucks.
For the past month 20 new employees, both full-time and part-time, have been training at Ingles in Winder to be ready for opening day. “We are hoping it’s going to bring more traffic,” Scandland said.
Currently Ingles processes more than 2,000 transactions per day and Starbucks could add to that amount. The Starbucks will be open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Ingles is open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.
“We’ve got a captive audience and we hope that helps to make it successful,” he said.
“The biggest excitement it creates for us is it’s giving us the opportunity to creates something special for our customers,” Scandland said.
And while the Starbucks store will act as any Starbucks location, including honoring all Starbucks gift cards, the employees are employed by Ingles, Scandland said.