When Ingles pushes out of its old shell, it’s new home will bring new options to customers, like a stir-fry station, improved produce section and expanded wine and café offerings.
For many local residents, however, the store’s current incarnation is already an asset to their regular shopping routines, and any improvements would just be icing on the grocery-buying cake.
Debbie Simpson, a part-time Haywood County resident, said the store surpasses what the Publix in her part-time Florida home has to offer.
“Basically, I like the store the way it is,” said Simpson, adding that if she had to pick an area that could be stepped up, “maybe more international food” would be the way to go.
James Rich concurred with Simpson’s assessment. The Waynesville rock mason said he couldn’t find a complaint or even a suggestion to proffer for the store. Rich was put on babysitting duty, pushing a grinning, stroller-bound baby around the produce section while his wife added to an already-full cart, a usual family ritual, he said.
“You can’t make it much better than they already have,” Rich said.
Constance Ebert and her husband Millard, speaking from frozen foods where they were eyeing a bag of canary yellow banana pops, said they were pretty pleased with the Waynesville store, but Constance was able to enumerate a few suggestions for improvements.
“I think demonstrations that show how you can prepare things would be great,” Ebert said, and though she said she was pleased with the store’s cleanliness, she’d love some more healthy options, a more Fresh Market feel.
For her part, Waynesville native Dianne Pass gave the supermarket a glowing review as well, and she was pretty excited to hear some of the improvements coming the store’s way, especially the landscaping plans.
“I love this store, I can’t imagine it any other way,” said Pass a twice-a-week patron of the store, “but it’s such a beautiful area, the trees would be great.”
Town aldermen were on board with that, too, lauding the choice to add some flora to the storefront. There was some dispute about tree type, but in the end, the board was pleased by the corporation’s efforts.
“I really appreciate the fact that Ingles has been willing to make this much of an investment in shade trees and landscaping in this parking lot,” said Alderman Elizabeth Feichter.