The new Save-A-Lot grocery store at 2700 W. Osage had a successful opening day, according to one owner.

“We know the newness will wear off, but this is grand,” said Matt Sauer as he watched shoppers maneuvering carts through crowded aisles July 2.

By 7:30 a.m. that day there were already cars in the parking lot and people standing in a circle in front of the new store that was scheduled to open at 8 a.m.

About 25 Pacific Area Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors stood around Sauer and fellow owner Paul Schnettgoecke as they cut the ribbon.

The parking lot directly in front of the store was quickly filling up and a row of vehicles lined the adjoining West Osage Development parking lot.

At exactly 8 a.m. the doors opened and the cluster of people streamed into the store. Some of the early arrivals were there for the Chamber ribbon cutting to mark the first day of business, but others were just eager shoppers.

This opening day ceremony was new to the Chamber, which usually cuts the traditional ribbon sometime after the business opens. The same-day celebration was the idea of Tiffany Wilson, one of the new Chamber directors.

“If they’re going to open at 8:00 a.m. we can be there at 7:45,” Wilson said.

Later in the day the crowd of shoppers showed no signs of slowing.

All three owners, Wayne and Matt Sauer and Paul Schnettgoecke, joined the 20 on-duty store employees to man cash registers and keep shelves stocked as a steady stream of customers filled aisles.

Customers bag their own groceries, but the store provides the bags, which are located on a wide counter located directly across the aisle from checkout lines.