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Inside look at new Food City corporate support center

By Rebecca Pepin, rpepin@wcyb.com
Published On: Sep 05 2013 08:29:48 PM CDT
ABINGDON, Va. -

K-VA-T Food Stores, the parent company of grocery chain Food City, will have employees moving into its new corporate support center starting two weeks from tomorrow.

The new facility, located on the former site of the old Johnston Memorial Hospital in Abingdon, VA, is getting some finishing touches.

It will be a self-contained facility that includes offices, meeting space, conference rooms and an employee cafeteria.

"This kitchen would look very similar to those in actual Food City Supermarkets, with food preparation equipment, etc.," explained Food City President & CEO Steve Smith. "it will also give our food specialists, in our bakery/deli, the opportunity to do some trial and error, a little experimentation, get feedback from our folks on what they like, what they don't like before it hits the store level and it'll be a real opportunity that we've never had before."

The building has four floors and is equipped with elevators.

It will be home to 350 workers.

"We're excited to move into our new corporate support center, which supports our 106 stores - we've got folks spread out now over six different buildings throughout Abingdon and Washington County - and be able to bring them all together to be more collaborative and to be more efficient in the way we help our stores operate and ultimately help our customers get what they need and the service they need," said Smith.

Currently, there's a historic home on the Food City facility's property.  However, it has been vacant for quite some time as there is no street access to the home.  Anyone living or visiting there would have to drive through other parking lots to get there.

That's why Food City has purchased another lot across the street and the home will be carefully moved to the new location.

"This project is the first in Abingdon history and is a rarely used preservation method," said Garrett Jackson, Abingdon's Assistant Town Manager/Director of Planning, Preservation and Community Development. "K-VAT/Food City has gone to great lengths in order to preserve the house."

Abingdon town leaders say the original part of the house dates back to the 1840s and was the Methodist church parsonage.

Workers will be moving the historic home Friday, September 6th between 9 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. North Court Street will be closed between Valley Street and Barter Drive during that time and detours will be in place.