PHOTOS: Inside Perry Hall Giant's 'Premiere Night'

Community members and public figures gathered to welcome the new store to Perry Hall.

Before he was a Maryland legislator, Del. Joe Boteler was a struggling college student in need of a job. He turned to the grocery store on Loch Raven Boulevard.

"I remember back then it was a great place to work for. It was good pay, the people there were like family, and we had a good time at night—especially when the supervisors weren't around," Boteler said, after praising the 100 jobs created by the new

His statement was one of many shared during the Giant's grand opening "Premiere Night" on Thursday. Considering its setting—the produce department of a grocery store—the event was, at times, sentimental.

Following the singing of the "Star-Spangled Banner," general manager Ray Cameron spoke about "coming home" to the store. Cameron was raised in the Perry Hall area, but most recently managed a store in Annapolis.

"I've enjoyed this more than any other project I've done. It's been a reunion for me," Cameron said.

Del. Eric Bromwell added his passionate endorsement of the store. "This is my grocery store. I don't even remember my first time in a Giant. I've been coming here since I was a kid," he said.

"This is long awaited and we're just so glad to have you here," said State Sen. Kathy Klausmeier.

"This is the supermarket where my family will probably shop and you have the best salad bar of anyone around," said .

Marks thanked Kimco Realty, the management company for , which has been hit hard with vacancies in recent years.

The former Superfresh closed in July 2011, leaving the center without an anchor tenant. Over the past year, Marks has pushed for a county-sponsored  over the area and other "downtown" initiatives.

"There are some great things going on in downtown Perry Hall because of Kimco Realty and now Giant Food ... every community should have a downtown where there are a variety of restaurants and businesses to frequent. This is a part of Perry Hall that has that," Marks said.

The opening also included a donation of $2,500 in Giant gift cards to the , accepted by director Margaret Hubbard and Pastor Vic Harner.

"Tremendously, it impacts our ability to have food there to help people. I have a limited budget and the bulk of it goes toward Thanksgiving and Christmas. Anytime I can get any donations, it really makes a big help," Hubbard said.

"Just last month, I didn't know if we'd have enough food. I said, 'The Lord will provide,'" she added.

Shoppers also joined in the festivities, including live jazz and free samples.

Rose and Rich Weber said they regularly travel from their home in Chase to Perry Hall, where the selection is better—within a six-mile radius, the community also has , a , a and an independently-owned .

"The layout is very nice. We'll probably shop here again," Rose Weber said. "We come to the Outback around the corner and other restaurants as well, all the time."

See photos in the above gallery.

linda morgan August 25, 2012 at 11:49 AM
I am confused....is this grand opening going to eventually cause closures to my Giant Food store ? I hope not...love my cashiers
Jeanne August 25, 2012 at 06:50 PM
The Giant store is very nice and I was impressed by how well management handled a problem, it was not their fault, to keep customers happy. I will use the Perry Hall Giant but I won't stop using the White Marsh Giant.
You August 25, 2012 at 07:14 PM
I stopped in Saturday. I like how roomy and more wide open it is compared to other local Giants. Of course customer service is operating at 100%+ at this time. In fact, I met 3 store "manager" like personel working the floor that were not from this store but here only for the opening. However, I think Giant's customer service is always on point regardless. It offers everything that White Marsh's store offers plus more parking, yet more organized with some added variety of products. I rate it 4 out of 5! Only Wegmans gets a 5 out of 5. Awesome and thanks for a great store near my house.
Tim August 25, 2012 at 11:35 PM
Yeah. It's not Wegman's but it's also not 15-20 minutes away either. My only concern over Safeway is it appears Gunpowder Elementary isn't registered in their "A+ Plus" program, whereas Safeway has Gunpowder in their similar program.
Voter August 26, 2012 at 04:37 PM
Safe way just removed the last incentive I had to shop there. They no longer offer the 3 cent gas discount. Unbelievably stupid move on their part.
Other Tim August 27, 2012 at 12:31 AM
I refuse to wait on myself until I am offered some sort of discount for doing so. Although I will probably visit Giant sometimes, my regular grocery store will remain Shoppers at Perring Parkway. No gimmicks, no gas discounts, no club card. Just fair prices, clean, well stocked and good service.
Stacey Schantz August 27, 2012 at 02:37 AM
Loved the new Giant. Shopped there this weekend, and will continue to shop there and Wegman's in Abingdon. The store was wide open, clean, orderly. Very impressed with the first few days, especially how well they managed the huge crowd... We didn't have a line - they actually had cashiers working - hope the customer service keeps this up... if so they'll retain my family as a customer.
Daniel Kalendek September 02, 2012 at 11:34 AM
Agreed, Safeway dropping the gas discount has chased me away.


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