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Amid delays, new Granite Shoals Supermarket aims to open before Christmas

Granite Shoals Supermarket construction

Construction continues at the site of the Granite Shoals Supermarket. Owner Tony Hijaz said the grocery store is aiming for a holiday opening. Staff photo by Jennifer Fierro

Construction continues at the site of the Granite Shoals Supermarket, 7911 RR 1431 East, which could open sometime during the upcoming holiday season. 

Workers recently built a gas panel over the pumps and have been remodeling the inside of the building, which was once Ryders Bar and Grill. The grocery store will offer fresh produce, meats, a full-service deli, beer and wine, and gasoline, according to previous reports.

Progress has been steady, but owner Tony Hijaz said more patience is needed. 

“We’re going to try to open before Christmas,” he said. “With the holidays, a lack of labor, and store needs, we can’t hire people at this time.”

When he announced he was bringing a supermarket to Granite Shoals three years ago, he projected it would open in August 2019. A few months later, the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and Hijaz and his management team are still dealing with the consequences. He had hoped to begin the hiring process this past May and open in August, but again, he faced obstacles.

“It’s hard to get mats, shelving, cash registers, fixtures,” he said. “We’ve had delays.” 

The items have been ordered, he said. 

“It’s just taken so long that it’s hard to find an opening date,” he added. “We ordered shelving four months ago, and we ordered cash registers three months ago. Nothing is coming, and deliveries aren’t on time.”

Inside the building, construction continues as supplies are delivered.

“We’re doing the final touchups, decorations, and finishing the small items,” he said. 

Hijaz said Granite Shoals will get a supermarket. 

“We’re not down and hesitant about our business,” he said. “We know the area needs it. We’re confident about what we do. We’ll make it nice. We’re delivering a high-quality product with convenience and at good prices.”

jfierro@thepicayune.com