By Monica Spees
Smiths Grove is now home to the first Schlotzsky’s store in south central Kentucky.
Crossroads IGA – which features Cinnabon baked goods, Carvel ice cream and Schlotzsky’s Bakery & Cafe – officially opened Wednesday at 619 S. Main St. in Smiths Grove. The building stands where the Shell gas station was – and fuel is still available on the premises.
Dog food, charcoal, soft drinks, motor oil, chilled tuna sandwiches and jars of pickled eggs stock the shelves in the 11,000-square-foot facility. A specialty coffee and hot beverage bar and customizable fountain and frozen beverage bar stand near the cafe.
Lifelong Smiths Grove resident Ruby Woods attended an open house Tuesday evening where she had her first taste of Cinnabon. Woods attended the grand opening Wednesday and left with a box of Cinnabon cinnamon rolls she purchased. Woods said she’s excited about the options the store gives Smiths Grove.
“I think it’s wonderful,” Woods said. “I think it’s going to do Smiths Grove justice. We’re all excited about it. We need something like this in Smiths Grove.”
The store is the fifth Crossroads IGA Houchens Industries has opened in the Bowling Green-Warren County market and the 10th in Kentucky. Houchens Industries recently opened another store in Louisville.
The new Crossroads IGA employs 57 people, 12 of whom were prior employees of Shell and IGA in Smiths Grove. The employment opportunities and additional grocery and convenience store products will benefit everyone in town, Woods said.
“This is the biggest thing to happen to Smiths Grove in years,” Woods said.
Brandon Jones, spokesman for Houchens Industries, is also a Smiths Grove resident, so the new Crossroads IGA is special to him.
The store is “a wonderful addition, personally as well as professionally,” Jones said. “I think it’s going to be a really good fit for the entire community.’
People at the grand opening could spin a wheel set up in front of the cafe for prizes, including food and discounts. Cupcakes were also available for the crowd of about 40 people to celebrate the event.
Mark Meers, chief marketing officer for Schlotzsky’s, said the Smiths Grove Crossroads IGA is the first of several partner projects the company will have with Houchens Industries. The store’s proximity to the interstate will likely draw many truckers and travelers, Meers said.
“We want to be a dedicated stop along the way for (travelers) to get a great Schlotzsky’s meal while visiting Smiths Grove,” Meers said.
Meers said Schlotzsky’s is trying a new rewards program at the Smiths Grove store. Lotz4Me is a mobile app that allows customers to get $7 off their purchase after their seventh $6-minimum purchase. Schlotzsky’s also caters and delivers.
Smtihs Grove Mayor Bert Higginbotham said he was thrilled with the store, especially since he found Edy’s sugar-free ice cream, which he often has trouble finding.
Crossroads IGA is in a great location for highway traffic, he said, and the people of Smiths Grove are happy to have another food and grocery option close to home.
“I’m tickled with this,” Higginbotham said.
Various public officials attended the opening, including Bowling Green Mayor Bruce Wilkerson, Warren County Judge-Executive Mike Buchanon, state Rep. Jody Richards, D-Bowling Green, Warren County Attorney Amy Milliken, state Sen. Mike Wilson, R-Bowling Green, and state Rep. Jim DeCesare, R-Bowling Green.
Tim Sturgill, division manager for Houchens Industries, said he’s looking forward to the future of Smiths Grove’s Crossroads IGA.
“I think you’re going to be proud of what we’re going to do for you here in Smiths Grove,” Sturgill said.
Crossroads IGA is open daily from 5 a.m. to midnight.
Filed under: National News Tagged: | bowling green, Carvel, Cinnabon, Crossroads, Grand Opening, grocery, Houchens, IGA, kentucky, Louisville, monica spees, sandwich, schlotzky's, Schlotzsky's, Shell, smith's grove, store, Warren County