Valley Grande shopping center flourishes

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 4, 2004

After months of construction, the spaces surrounding Valley Grande Market in the new Highway 22 shopping center are now fully operational and packed out with shops and customers.

This week two more shops opened at the center, filling in the last available office space and bringing the number of the center’s stores to five.

These new businesses mean a lot for the small, upstart town of Valley Grande and the area North of Selma along the highway.

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Their success equals more tax dollars, plus potential encouragement other businesses to move into the area.

Residents of Valley Grande are said to be helping out in any way they can to promote the new stores.

Tabatha Osborne, whose shop Valley Grande Florist opened June 1, said she has had a constant stream of people stop by and take her business cards.

“People are coming in and grabbing a handful of my cards, saying they want to hand them out for me,” Osborne said. “People have really been supportive about it and there is a real homey feeling here.”

Osborne said she and her husband, Neil, live in Selma but hope to eventually move to Valley Grande if all goes well with their business.

“I’m excited about this, and I’m looking for things to pick up once people realize I’m here,” she said.

At the other end of the shopping center, the employees of Haircuts Etc, which also opened its doors for the first time on June 1, say they like working in the new location.

“The girls who work here were all employees of the Highland Avenue location,” said stylist Amanda Hamner. “The shop is really nice, and it’s in a better location. It’s also not that bad of a drive.”

One person who is really excited about having shopping center filled is Tom Lee, owner of the property and a Valley Grande City Council member.

“I am just tickled to death,” said Lee. “The whole thing is packed. Traffic to the area has really picked up since the last two stores have opened.”

The shopping center and the Valley Grande Market grocery stored opened to big fan fare in early April after nearly a year of construction was finally completed.

A few weeks later the Sun Sations tanning salon opened next door, but the rest of the center continued to remain empty until Mutts Pizza established it’s Valley Grande branch in late May.

“The parking lot became really busy right after Memorial Day,” Lee said. “It constantly stays full.”

The Valley Grande City Council is working to have more businesses come to their area, and hope the shopping center will prove that the town and Highway 22 is ripe for growth.