GRIFTON, N.C. (WNCT) — Grifton went nearly three years without a grocery store. It’s now open for business and many say it’s a long time coming.

Residents can breathe a sigh of relief now that a grocery store is open in the town again.

“You keep your money in your town, which is very important now,” said Claudia Ladwig, a resident of Grifton.

The Food Pride opened Wednesday with lots of shoppers filling the story to get their groceries. Ladwig was one of the eager shoppers ready to check it out and get what she needed.

“Not having a grocery store, sometimes you run out of perishable things and it’s nice to have somewhere to go to buy things like that,’ Ladwig said.

Other shoppers like Edna Dancy said having a grocery store within town limits is more convenient for her because she doesn’t have to travel to bigger towns in the area.

“You got the traffic, and then don’t forget those stores are more crowded,” Dancy said. “So it depends on the time of day you go. But this is convenient because you don’t have to go as far.

“Thankful. Very thankful about it. It’s a blessing to be able to open up something in the community for people because you have some people who don’t have no transportation. They can walk here so it’s good.”

Buddy Huggins renovated the store. He said now that it’s open, he has plans to add on to it.

“We’re gonna put a deli right here in the back and that’s the main thing for the time being,” Huggins said. “I thank them for coming and showing their support.”

Huggins said the store’s grand opening will take place sometime in January.