VIDEO: Rain doesn’t dampen grand opening of Rosauers in Ridgefield

Hundreds of area residents showed up Saturday morning to be among the first to shop

RIDGEFIELD — A cold December rain didn’t dampen the spirits of around 800 people who lined up Saturday morning to be among the first to roam the well-stocked aisles of the long-awaited Rosauers Supermarket in Ridgefield.

Hundreds of area residents lined up Saturday morning to be among the first to shop at the new Rosauers Supermarket in Ridgefield. Photo by Mike Schultz
Hundreds of area residents lined up Saturday morning to be among the first to shop at the new Rosauers Supermarket in Ridgefield. Photo by Mike Schultz

The 53,000-square-foot store is the regional chain’s 22nd location, and the first in Western Washington. It will anchor the new Discovery Ridge shopping center on the southwest corner of Pioneer Street and South 45th Avenue, which will eventually also include Taco Bell, Mod Pizza, other restaurants, a tap room, and a dental office.

“People have the opportunity to not only shop here, but to go downtown and experience Old Town Ridgefield,” said Mayor Don Stose. “We will continue to make sure that downtown Ridgefield thrives wherever growth happens and wherever retail happens.”

Ridgefield Mayor Don Stose and Rosauers Ridgefield Store Manager Eric Dean cut the ceremonial ribbon on Saturday as members of the Ridgefield City Council and the 18th Legislative District look on. Photo by Mike Schultz
Ridgefield Mayor Don Stose and Rosauers Ridgefield Store Manager Eric Dean cut the ceremonial ribbon on Saturday as members of the Ridgefield City Council and the 18th Legislative District look on. Photo by Mike Schultz

The initial goal had been to open the store in August, but Rosauers President and CEO Jeff Philipps says they ran into some delays due to weather. With subcontractors taking other jobs in the region, they were forced to wait sometimes in order to get the project moving again. 

So the move to December, and the drizzle falling outside, forced the ribbon cutting ceremony indoors, with people cramming into the entryway of the supermarket to watch Stose and Store Manager Eric Dean wield the ceremonial scissors, cutting the big red ribbon and marking the opening of the new store.

Philipps said he was impressed with the quality of candidates they received to work at the location. Out of around 300 applications, 110 area residents will be employed there.

Rosauers Supermarket Produce Manager Bryan Fallquist puts the final touches on his display ahead of the Ridgefield location grand opening on Saturday. Photo by Mike Schultz
Rosauers Supermarket Produce Manager Bryan Fallquist puts the final touches on his display ahead of the Ridgefield location grand opening on Saturday. Photo by Mike Schultz

“Many of your friends and neighbors are among the 110 people that are here to serve you,” Philipps told the gathered crowd.

“A supermarket, especially in a small community like this, is more than just a grocery store,” said Philipps. “We are a gathering place where friends connect, a place where neighbors serve neighbors, and a place that serves as a forum to support the growth and the activities that improve the quality of life for every single local resident.”

The Rosauers supermarket includes a full organic section, brick oven fired pizza, a bakery where everything is cooked fresh, a deli with actual butchers on duty, sushi, hot bar, salad bar, soup bar, and an olive bar.

Rosauers President and CEO Jeff Philipps addresses a crowd before the grand opening of the Ridgefield Rosauers Supermarket on Saturday. Photo by Mike Schultz
Rosauers President and CEO Jeff Philipps addresses a crowd before the grand opening of the Ridgefield Rosauers Supermarket on Saturday. Photo by Mike Schultz

“We have a lot of bars here,” joked Philipps. “We do have some alcohol back over there, but that’s not a bar.”

The store also features a seating area that can be used as a community room, including free public Wi-Fi, as well as a full-service florist. It also has a machine that will peel and core your pineapples before you take them home, as well as two full sections of select coffees, nut butter grinders, and much more. Online shopping and curbside pickup is expected to start in about a week, added Philipps.

Hundreds of area residents packed into the Ridgefield Rosauers Supermarket on Saturday for the store’s official grand opening. Photo by Mike Schultz
Hundreds of area residents packed into the Ridgefield Rosauers Supermarket on Saturday for the store’s official grand opening. Photo by Mike Schultz

“It’s taken a while to get to this point,” he said. “I hope you’ll all agree the wait has been worth it.”

Store Manager Eric Dean says he, his wife, and three girls moved from Spokane to Ridgefield when the opportunity came up to take over the first Rosauers west of the Cascades.

The Ridgefield Rosauers Supermarket features a self-service meat display, including fresh seafood. Photo by Mike Schultz
The Ridgefield Rosauers Supermarket features a self-service meat display, including fresh seafood. Photo by Mike Schultz

“The very first time my U-Haul showed up the neighbors were coming over, welcoming me to the neighborhood,” says Dean. “Walking downtown, everyone is just so friendly. It’s that small town feel.”

Dean says the community has been quick to embrace Rosauers, as evidenced by the long lines that braved the rain on a Saturday morning.

“This community has welcomed us, and we want to give back to the community as well,” said Dean, “so it’s going to be a great partnership.”

That partnership also includes ilani Casino, which set up a tent outside the store with games and activities for the children. Rally, the Ridgefield Raptors mascot was also there, slapping high fives with shoppers, young and old, and Santa Claus was also on hand to the delight of many.

Fresh-baked treats await the first customers at the Ridgefield Rosauers Supermarket on Saturday morning. Photo by Mike Schultz
Fresh-baked treats await the first customers at the Ridgefield Rosauers Supermarket on Saturday morning. Photo by Mike Schultz

Mayor Stose says they could have had their pick of grocers for the location, but it took him next to no time to settle on Rosauers.

“My mom worked for Doc Rosauers in the 1950s,” he recalled. “We were truck drivers in Spokane and we provided fresh fruits and vegetables for the Rosauers in Spokane.”

He says when City Manager Steve Stuart said Rosauers was interested in coming to Ridgefield he told him, “stop, we are going to bring Rosauers to Ridgefield.”

Stose was joined by all the other members of Ridgefield City Council, as well as Stuart, Representatives Brandon Vick and Larry Hoff from the 18th District, and officials with the Port of Ridgefield. 

A full-service coffee bar is one of the many amenities awaiting shoppers at the new Rosauers Supermarket in Ridgefield. Photo by Mike Schultz
A full-service coffee bar is one of the many amenities awaiting shoppers at the new Rosauers Supermarket in Ridgefield. Photo by Mike Schultz

The arrival of Rosauers, Stose says, will bring a long list of other retailers into Ridgefield over the next year. The city has continued to be among the fastest growing in the state of Washington, but Stose promises that the small town feel that people like Dean experienced in the city is something they’re intent on preserving, through the careful selection of retailers, commercial companies, and residential developers that want to build in the city.

“That’s one of the reasons that Ridgefield has done so well,” says Stose, “is the partnerships that we have created with people like Rosauers.”

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About The Author

Chris Brown comes to Clark County Today with 15 years of local news experience as a reporter, editor, and anchor at KXL News Radio and KOIN-6 TV in Portland. In 2016, he won an Oregon Association of Broadcaster's award for Best Investigative Reporting for a series on America's Violent Youth. He has also been awarded by the Associated Press for Best Breaking News coverage as editor of Portland's Morning News following the 2015 school shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon. The second oldest of eight home-schooled children, Brown graduated from high school two years early. After several odd jobs, he earned an internship at KXL Radio, eventually working his way into a full-time job. Brown has lived in Clark County his entire life, and is very excited at the opportunity to now focus full-time on the significant stories happening in his own back yard, rather than across “the river.’’ After a few years in Vancouver, he recently moved back to Battle Ground with his wife and two young daughters. When he's not working to report what's happening in Clark County, Brown enjoys spending time with his family, playing music, taking pictures, or working in the yard. He also actually does enjoy long walks on the beach, and sunsets.

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