BY MARIA D. JAMES — On April 9, the City of Hyattsville and Prince George’s County officially welcomed the newest Safeway store, located at 3702 East West Highway, to the region with a ribbon cutting ceremony.
Safeway Eastern Division President Steve Burnham announced that the soft opening of the store on April 6 was so successful that the store had to add in another checkout register.
“One resounding message has been welcome back,” said Burnham.
According to a Safeway press release, amenities at the new 24-hour store include a Starbucks Coffee bar, fresh cut in-store fruit and vegetables in the produce department, bulk foods and full-service pharmacy, deli, meat and seafood departments. Speciality meal services include butchers to provide custom cuts of meat, a bakery offering custom cake designs and french bread that is baked fresh daily. The store also carries double-battered chicken fried daily, an expanded selection of Hispanic food products, a dedicated natural and organics section, as well as sugar- and gluten-free options.
New features offered in the Hyattsville store include a deli equipped with a pizza bar, which utilizes a new quick bake oven and offers toppings such as as sriracha or pesto as well as classics like margherita and meat lovers. A new Asian bar offers cashew chicken, beef and broccoli, lo mein and egg rolls.
Store Director Benita Jenkins said thank you to Safeway for its investments into the community and for entrusting her with the store, stating that a total of $17 million had been invested into the new facility. According to Jenkins, she has been with Safeway for 10 years and has worked in the retail industry for over 22 years.
“We wanted customers to see that we listened,” said Jenkins. She said foods such as crawfish, various ethnic foods and special offerings such as bulk food and the China kitchen were put in place to appeal to a variety of customers. Jenkins also said that the cooks at the kitchen previously worked in the kitchen at the Pentagon.
The new store has already hired 171 employees and is looking to hire more. “They are hiring and keeping dollars in this community,” said Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker, III. “This is the anchor of what will happen around this metro station. We will make this a place where people want to stay and do well.”
For long-time Safeway employees, like Front-End Store Manager Christopher Newman, the new store is a great opportunity. “I love Safeway. This is my first big store and an opportunity to prove myself,” says Newman, who has been with the company for 13 years. Newman says that the store plans to hire as many employees as possible, ages 16 years and older. To apply for a job, visit www.safeway.com/careers.
The previous Safeway store left the city four years ago. The grocer was once located at 3511 Hamilton Street, which is now Bestway. Burnham encouraged the community to continue to vote by supporting their dollars. “We have to continue to earn your business and we plan to do that everyday,” he said.
Baker lauded the efforts of Safeway and the Prince George’s County Economic Development Corporation for making the idea of bringing the store back to the region a reality. The new store, developed by Echo Realty, will serve as the anchor for a mixed-use project.
It is one of the first stores built since the merger of Safeway with grocery conglomerate Albertsons LLC was announced in January 2015.
The new Gateway at UTC development will include a MedStar Health primary and urgent care facility and stores such as Town Center Wine & Spirits, Unleashed by Petco, Le’s Nails, and Phenix Salon Suites. The opening date for these businesses has not been announced.
Safeway’s Eastern Division employes more than 14,000 people and currently operates 126 stores, including 67 stores in Maryland, 41 in Virginia and 14 in the District of Columbia, according to a press release.