Kroger celebrates Franklin Twp. grand opening

Kroger celebrates Franklin Twp. grand opening with charitable donations and shopping excitement

Hundreds of customers lined up to get their first glimpse inside of the new Kroger in Franklin Township on Aug. 3. *Photos by Nicole Davis

Go Krogering! Doors opened after the ribbon cutting.

After the ribbon cutting celebration, employees lined up to greet and cheer on the customers as they entered the store. The first customer to check out for the day, Bill May of Franklin Township, was sent by his family to get the gift card that was awarded to the first 200 shoppers at the door.

“I needed to stop this way anyway,” he said. It seems nice. It’s going to be closer and a bit more convenient than the Marketplace on Thompson.”

Kroger held a private open house on Aug. 2, where staff awarded donations to local nonprofits: $1,000 to Franklin Central Band Boosters, $1,000 to Servant’s Heart of Indy, $5,000 to the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 86, $2,500 to RightFit, $2,500 to Keep Indianapolis Beautiful and $27,000 to Gleaners for a food pantry at Daniel Webster School 46.

During the opening celebration, it is Kroger tradition to recognize the longest-serving associate at each store. Right, Sherry Sprong, an employee since 1984, was awarded that recognition by Katie Wolfram, president of Kroger Central Division.

It’s a blessing to see these resources come in,” said Bill Boone, chairman of Servant’s Heart food pantry.

Ninety percent of families at School 46, serving grades K through 8, struggle with poverty. The partnership between Gleaners and Kroger will give a resource to those families by allowing the school to continue and expand its food pantry.

“We really don’t have space for (the pantry), but we have such a need that we felt responsible to make it happen,” said Karen Linn, principal, noting that they’re building on a 30-year history of partnership with Kroger.

The new 100,000 square-foot grocery store at 8130 E. Southport Rd. is similar to the Kroger Marketplace locations, like at Emerson Avenue and County Line Road, without the apparel. The store includes ClickList, a drive-thru pharmacy, fuel center, bistro with restaurant-quality foods, a specialty cheese shop, wine and beer, organic food, bulk foods and a Starbucks.

“I’m excited to welcome a new store in our township,” said Indianapolis City Councilor Brian Mowery, serving District 25. “In a time when Indianapolis is facing food deserts, we’re opening new groceries, making meals more accessible in our community. When you look at Acton, there’s not a grocery store easily accessible. Now they’re not having to go to all the way to Emerson (Avenue). A lot of people are excited about it.”