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Weigel’s grand-opening announced

Despite controversy, first from Farragut Municipal Planning Commission and then from residents of the Sugarwood subdivision, Weigel’s Farm Stores officially cut the ribbon on its new store at the corner of Kingston Pike and Smith Road Thursday, Oct. 18.

Bob Leonard, attorney for Weigel’s and former Farragut mayor, said, “I think it is a beautiful store and it will serve the community well. I think we built a store that the Sugarwood residents will be proud of and will be happy to use, and I don’t think it will create any problem for them at all.”

Sugarwood residents were concerned a bigger store would mean more traffic and less-safe turning conditions into and out of their subdivision.

Weigel’s plans a grand-opening for the store Monday, Oct. 29, through Sunday, Nov. 4.

“[The grand-opening] will entail specials throughout the store on our dairy and other select items such as chips and ice cream and several in-store promotions,” Ken McMullen, Weigel’s president, said.

The store replaced the older, smaller store that occupied the spot for more than 40 years, first as Family Country Markets before becoming Weigel’s.

Lee Ashburn, a Farragut resident and a representative of The H.T. Hackney Co., the distibutor from which the store buys its products, said, “I think it has really improved the look of this corner. The old building was just worn out and this looks so much better. Billy Weigel, when he builds a store, he builds something that is going to look good down the road.”

In a press release a spokesperson for Weigel’s said, “The new store interior highlights an expanded self-serve gourmet coffee center featuring Weigel’s own ‘award-winning’ dark roast and original Columbian fresh-brewed coffees. Over 20 fountain drink flavors and an extensive line of frozen beverages round out Weigel’s new store enhancements. The exterior features a well-lit fueling facility with 16 fueling positions.”

Beginning in 1931 as a country dairy farm in Powell, the corporation has grown into a convenience store network including 47 stores across East Tennessee.

“Home delivery went away years ago and we had to sell our milk somewhere, so we opened up small drive-thru dairy stores,” McMullen said.

The first store, McMullen said, was called Milk Depot and opened in December 1958 off Sanderson Road in Powell.

“The first big store opened in June of 1964. It was a full-size convenience store and it was located on Cumberland Estates,” he added.

The company plans to continue its rapid growth.

“We have two stores under construction, we just opened one in Dandridge, we have one getting ready to be built in Loudon and we have one getting ready to be built on Middlebrook Pike. Our plans are to open two to three stores a year,” McMullen said.

The smaller stores, including the one at 12640 Kingston Pike, will eventually be remodeled McMullen said, because ‘they no longer fit our model.”

Basil Campbell, manger of the new store, said managing this store feels like coming home to him.

“I used to manage the White Store years ago. I have managed other Weigel’s and I have been all around Knoxville since, but this is the first time I have been back to this area,” he said.


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