St. Petersburg, Florida -- The huge St. Pete neighborhood that had been left without a supermarket is back in business.
And for folks in the area west and south of Tropicana Field called Midtown, this is so much more than just a new store.
"I've been waiting for this moment all year!" said a smiling Joanne Coley, just before she became one of the first shoppers to walk the aisles of St. Pete's new Walmart Neighborhood Market on Wednesday morning.
"It's exciting, and we need a store like this in this neighborhood," Coley said.
The store is like a supermarket on steroids. And it fills a huge hole that was left when the only grocery store for miles -- a Sweetbay -- closed here a year ago.
"We love this store. It's needed here. Everybody's enjoying it. Prices can't be better. Happy happy," shopper Emily Jones said.
In a neighborhood where every dollar matters, this place brings three big money benefits.
- Jobs: Nearly 100 of them, hiring a lot of folks from right nearby.
- Bargains: Before now, people were paying high convenience store prices for essentials like milk and eggs.
- Transportation: A lot of the folks who live in Midtown have no easy or cheap way to get anywhere else.
"A lot of people have to catch a bus or get cabs and whatnot in order to get to the grocery store," shopper Millie Phillips said. "So this is really a needed store in this community."
Today, for the people in this neighborhood, something as basic as a cut of beef or a fresh banana is finally an option.
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