In recent weeks, rumors that Food City is planning on building a “Super Store” at its location on the east end of East Ridge has been circulating in the community.
Staff inside of City Hall were unable to confirm the information late last month. Chief Building Official Kenny Custer said that he had heard that the giant grocery store was planning on building a Super Store, which would include a fueling center component for its customers. Custer said the city was not in receipt of any building plans or permits for any kind of renovation at the location.
East Ridge News Online reached out to Food City officials to determine if there is any validity to the rumor.
Steve Smith, Food City’s President/CEO said in an email; “We are always evaluating our options to improve our store facilities. We’re very committed to the East Ridge community and look forward to a long and prosperous future there.”
A follow up question asking for clarification on Food City’s plans went unanswered.
A check of Hamilton County records show that the Food City property at 6725 Ringgold Road remains under the ownership of C.H. Chen of Signal Mountain. The property consists of 18.28 acres with numerous structures on the property, including the East Ridge Flea Market, Food City and a number of other buildings. The total square footage of all the structures is more than 93,000 square feet.
County records indicate that both the flea market building and the Food City store were built in the mid-1970s. Hamilton County records value the land and the buildings at $3.335 million.
According to Food City’s Website, the stores date back to 1918 when a store was opened in Greeneville, Tennessee, but K-VA-T Food Stores’ official beginning took place in 1955 when founder Jack C. Smith–with his father, Curtis and uncle, Earl–opened the first store in Grundy, Virginia.
Food City has grown through the acquisition of several Piggly Wiggly operations in Southwest Virginia and Eastern Kentucky, along with Quality Foods/Food City, White Stores, Winn Dixie and BI-LO units in east Tennessee. The company has also grown steadily by expansion into new market areas while remodeling and replacing existing locations as needed to best serve their customers.
According to a full-page ad in Friday’s edition of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, Food City is temporarily closing its East Brainerd store in the 7800 block of East Brainerd Road for remodeling. The ad references the remodel will focus on bringing a new component to the store called “Gas ‘n Go,” as well as a deli, pharmacy, wine sales and sales of craft beers.