The late fall seems to be the busy season for opening grocery stores in Langley.
On Wednesday, Dec. 5, the first Langley outlet of the Your Independent Grocer chain will open at the Willoughby Town Centre shopping plaza on 208th Street just south of 80th Avenue.
The town centre is still under construction this week, with workers planting trees and working on the exterior of the buildings.
Eventually, the complex will include condos, commercial areas and office buildings. A liquor store, daycare, and seniors facility was just approved for another part of the complex (see inset story).
The Hakam's Your Independent Grocer is a 28,000 square foot store that will be open daily from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Franchisee Hakam Cheema has 15 years of grocery experience, he said.
"I know many people in our community were curious about this store opening, and I'm excited to introduce to them this new store," Cheema said in a statement.
For the opening on Dec. 5, there will be a ribbon cutting, cake and refreshments of customers, free food sampling, and free giveaways to the first 500 customers.
A truck with the Your Independent Grocer logo is expected to be in the area prior to the opening handing out hot chocolate and takeaway items.
In Fort Langley, the Lee's Market is getting closer to opening. A replacement for the Lee family's IGA, which stood on the corner of Mavis Avenue and Glover Road for decades, the new store has been rebranded and will open on Dec. 9.
Owner Robert Lee said there will definitely be a ceremony of some kind.
"It's been a long wait for everybody," Lee said.
Two years ago, the former Fort IGA burned to the ground, after someone tried to cut through bars on a window to break in.
The fire left the Fort without a grocery store.
Lee had hoped to open the store in late November but pushed back the date slightly.
Right now, staff are already stocking the store with some dry goods, and the rest of the produce and meat will arrive at the last minute, no more than two or three days before the store opens.