When Selectman Betsy Sullivan cut the ribbon at the entrance of Foodie's Duxbury Market on Thursday afternoon, it ended the nearly four year wait for a new grocery store in town. When Selectman Betsy Sullivan cut the ribbon at the entrance of Foodie's Duxbury Market on Thursday afternoon, it ended the nearly four year wait for a new grocery store in town.
Store manager Victor Leon, Jr. and his father, Foodie's owner Victor Leon, celebrated the grand opening of Foodie's Duxbury Market on Thursday.

As the automatic doors slid open for business, dozens of curious shoppers filed into the new centerpiece of Duxbury's downtown. While some got down to business right away, filling shopping carts and testing the produce for freshness, other were content to happily stroll through the aisles and enjoy a day that was long in coming.

"I'm moved to tears," said Jennifer Bruni. "I'm serious. It's great for the town, and it makes me want to stay in Duxbury."

Reactions from other shoppers ranged from 'So far, so good' and 'It's a beautiful store' to amazement at the wide selection of beer in the small wine and beer section at the front of the store.

About the only hitch in the opening days of Foodie's was the premium on parking spaces in what was once known as the A&P plaza.

For store owner Victor Leon, Thursday's grand opening was the culmination of what he characterized as a sometimes bumpy journey to open a second Foodie's store to join his decade-old South End location.

"It's great to see this. I'm very excited," said Leon.

Leon said Foodie's will provide people with the sustenance they need to feel good about life.

In addition to Sullivan, a number of other town officials were seen roaming the aisles of Foodie's shortly after the ribbon cutting.

"They've done an excellent job and worked hard to get everything done," said Building Inspector Scott Lambiase. Town Manager Richard MacDonald agreed and said the store should be an excellent addition to the town.

Selectmen Chairman Andre Martecchini and his wife, Stephanie, were spotted checking out the buys in the dairy department.

"I'm glad to have it here," said Stephanie Martecchini. "I'm awfully tired of having to go to Stop and Shop for everything.'

"I'm happy that I can come over here when it comes time to make dinner," she said. "There had been a lot of times when I was doing a lot of making due rather than running to the Stop and Shop."

Since the closing of the Grand Union, the A&P's short-lived successor, in 2004, the shopping trips to Kingston have been the order of the day for Duxbury residents.

Throughout the opening days and weekend, the aisles at Foodie's were filled with almost as many vendors as shoppers, handing out free samples of everything from tea and juice to cheese and fruits. Shoppers and employees were also seen making use of the seating area between the prepared foods section and the coffee bar.

Foodie's looked to offer a little something for everyone, from imported cheeses and salmon entrees to milk from local dairies to the everyday essentials like bread and paper towels.

Town Clerk Nancy Oates summed up what many felt about the opening of Foodie's.

"The holidays came early this year," she said. "Dear Santa Claus, thank you for bringing Foodie's to Duxbury."

The store has remained busy since opening day, said store manager Victor Leon, Jr.

"Everyone has been very positive about the store," Leon, Jr. said. "It's been great."

Across the street at The Studio, owner John Stanton said the opening of Foodie's has been good for his business and the area.

"We had good traffic all weekend, and we'd have to attribute some of that to Foodie's across the street," he said. "Just by seeing a full parking lot across the street, it puts people in a good frame of mind, and it's good for the business district."

Westwinds Bookshop owner Marilyn Haraden agreed that the full parking lot helped create a buzz throughout the whole shopping area.

While Haraden said it was difficult to judge how the Foodie's opening translated to sales for her shop, she said she did see a lot of new faces in the store.

"We did have some people walk in and ask if there was a second floor, and there hasn't been one for 12 years," Haraden said. "So we got a lot of either brand new faces or people who haven't been in for awhile."

Haraden said she's also excited to do her shopping at Foodie's.

"I love the store, and when I was over there on opening day, it was like a great big block party," she said.

Duxbury Wine and Spirits owner Joe Carroll said he has always welcomed Foodie's coming to Duxbury as a market, but said his mind hasn't changed over the concerns he has expressed about the store having a wine and beer license.

Carroll said it's still too early to tell how Foodie's will impact his store.

"Give me two weeks, and then I might be able to tell," he said. "In this business, a few days is not enough of a snapshot."