"It's an early morning, isn't it," asked Chicago Heights Chief of Staff Matt Fares.
At 7:10 a.m. many of the highest ranking city officials stood surrounded by pastels in the Easter candy aisle. Mayor Vincent Zaranti. Alderman and mayoral candidate Joseph Faso. Police Chief Michael Camilli. Alderperson Sonia Perez. Those were just a few of the Heights notables on hand for the grand opening of the largest Food 4 Less grocery store in the Midwest.
"We are very excited," said store director Selena Whiteside before the ribbon cutting. "We can't wait to get the doors open."
Before the store could break out the giant novelty scissors, it had to break out the giant novelty checks, as there was the little matter of paying out $2,500 each to the city's park district and library.
Library administrator Michael Davis and Park District assistant superintendent Michael DeButch were on hand to accept the checks.
"We really appreciate Food 4 Less giving back to the community," DeButch said. "It's a big plus for us. It helps put money into our sports programs. That way we can keep fees low and upgrade equipment. So we really appreciate it."
Davis said the library would likely spend the money to buy laptops to be used in training classes.
When it came time to cut the ribbon, Mayor Zaranti and Whiteside held the massive shears and snapped a couple photos.
"We're talking about economic development," Mayor Zaranti said after the big event. "Looking at an area that has had nothing going on for a really long time, I'm hoping this will bring some new business into this area, draw some interest."
Food 4 Less, located in the 1300 block of Western Avenue, is open from 6 a.m. to midnight everyday.