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20131113 Alton-Juniors-Supermarket-Ribbon-Cutting AF  3526 featureALTON—Alton Mayor Salvador Vela and musician Ramon Ayala joined the hundreds of Alton citizens early Wednesday for the grand opening of Junior’s Supermarket.

Felix Chavez Jr., owner of Junior’s Supermarkets, welcomed shoppers by saying, “Bienvenidos a su tienda (welcome to your store).”

The new Junior’s Supermarket sits at the corner of Alton Boulevard and Main Avenue and will create approximately 100 jobs for the area. In Spanish, Ayala said the new supermarket is not only beautiful but it’s largest site of the entire chain.

The store includes: an 84-foot meat counter touted as the largest in the Valley, bakery department, tortilla department, a 16-foot fish department and an indoor BBQ grill.

Shoppers walked through the aisles Thursday morning, drinking complimentary coffee and freshly made tortillas. The meat counter had dozens of citizens lined up for the supermarket’s signature meats.

Chavez designed the layout of the latest supermarket addition on his own, and made changes to fit what customers wanted. Initially, the owner wanted to expand the former site, which sits just south of the new building, but decided a new facility would best fit the growing community.

“This type of development is actually what we have been working so hard for,” Vela said. “Like a pebble in a still pond, this will create a ripple effect for the entire community.”

Other amenities of the new store include a restaurant and rental spaces that currently hold T-Mobile, Hello-Kitty merchandise shop, nail salon, jewelry store and IBC bank.

Chavez visited with customers inside the market and outside after the ribbon cutting presentation, which was held in Spanish. The storeowner recalled being asked what is his secret to success, and Chavez shared with the audience that all of his gifts have come from God.

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