SEDRO-WOOLLEY — Browsing through a row of coffee beans Wednesday at the new Pioneer Marketplace, Ashlee Poggie said she was happy to find her favorite, locally-made coffee in stock at a grocery store within walking distance from her house.

Pioneer Marketplace opened Monday at 100 East State St.

“It’s a much needed addition to Sedro-Woolley,” she said. “We have always shopped in Burlington.”

She said for a long time, residents in the area have struggled to find a local, affordable option for groceries. She said she thinks the new store’s prices are competitive.

“It has everything I need,” Poggie said.

A ribbon cutting and soft opening for the store were held Monday. Store owner Sean Skiles said the line to enter the store stretched for blocks.

“The town’s been really excited,” he said.

The Skiles family also owns Pioneer Market in La Conner, and other grocery stores in the state, Skiles said.

Before sitting vacant for more than a decade, the Sedro-Woolley store was a Thrifty Foods Market Place. Skiles said his dad owned the store in the 1950s, and that he remembers pushing carts in the parking lot growing up.

Now, Skiles said he has bumped into former teachers and coaches shopping at the store in the first few days it’s been open. The choice to name the store Pioneer Marketplace was a throwback to the store’s former name.

Skiles said the goal was for the store to have a hometown feel.

“We want to give good customer service and products people want to see,” he said.

BYK Construction of Sedro-Woolley, the property owner, remodeled the building this year.

Customer Marlene Anderson said she likes what she sees.

“It’s bright,” she said. “And the shelves aren’t really high.”

She said she too traveled to Burlington to shop at Fred Meyer, and said she found the experience overwhelming.

“This is easier,” she said. “I don’t have to walk in a big-box store.”

Kristi and Greg Stevens, Sedro-Woolley residents of three weeks, were shopping with their 2 1/2-week-old daughter, Amber.

“So far, it’s awesome,” Greg Stevens said. “All the produce looks fresh. And I like the location.”

— Reporter Jacqueline Allison: jallison@skagitpublishing.com, 360-416-2145, Twitter: @Jacqueline_SVH

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