CEDAR FALLS — In many ways, the new Fareway in Cedar Falls looks a lot like the Fareway grocery stores elsewhere in the Cedar Valley — with one big difference.
Shoppers will be the first to try out “Fast Lanes” — the first time any Fareway anywhere has tried the concept.
“It’s our spin on a self-checkout,” said Chad Hickcox, supervisor of the new store, just before Fareway’s ribbon cutting Tuesday evening.
The second Fareway in Cedar Falls officially opens to the public at 7 a.m. today at the corner of Greenhill Road and South Main Street.
Self-checkout lanes are nothing new in other grocery stores, but have only been discussed at Fareway for the last few months, said Fareway CEO Reynolds Cramer. The Fast Lanes were ready to roll out just as this Fareway was ready to open.
“Some of it is coincidence and chance,” Cramer said. “We’re excited to see how it goes.”
The 21,000-square foot store is the 123rd Fareway in the Midwest over the last 80-plus years, Cramer said. The chain, known for its meat selection, will open three or four new stores in 2019.
The Boone-headquartered company has a store in south Waterloo, built in 1994; one west of Thunder Ridge Court in the northwest part of Cedar Falls, built in 1996; one in Evansdale, built in 2006; and one in Waverly.
Its also opened up specialty Fareway Meat Markets in Ames as well as Omaha and Lincoln, Nebraska.
“Everyone’s looking for quality, freshness and healthy choices,” Cramer said.
Besides the Fast Lanes, the new Cedar Falls Fareway will have an expanded meat counter with more fresh fish and seafood, grab-and-go meal kits right up front and refrigerated islands.
“Our slogan is ‘Best at Fresh,’ so we want to make sure our product is as fresh as possible,” Hickcox said.
Approximately 15 full-time and 60 part-time employees will work at the store, which will be open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Fareway stores are closed on Sundays and holidays.
“Our goal (Wednesday) is, if the parking lot’s full, we’re doing good,” Cramer said. “And I have a good feeling it will be.”