Food City Invests in Walker County

Rossville, GA – In a few short months, Walker County residents who live between Rossville and Chickamauga will encounter a new shopping experience.  Food City’s replacement store on Mission Ridge Road will be nearly twice the size of the previous grocery, originally built by Red Foods 46-years ago.

“We’re excited to make the investment in Walker County,” said Steve Smith, President and CEO of K-VAT Food Stores, the parent company of Food City.  “It will create more tax dollars, more job opportunities and a better shopping experience for our people.”

Once complete, the 38,100 square foot Mission Ridge location will be a state of the art supermarket. Customers will find an in-store bakery/deli with a hot food bar, full service meat and seafood departments, rapid checkout service, a pharmacy with drive-thru access and a three pump Gas ‘N Go fueling station.

Food City will also create 50 to 70 new jobs in Walker County when this location opens in June. Those positions will be in addition to workers who were relocated during the construction phase. “We were very concerned about what we were going to do with them. It gave us an opportunity to take them to some newer stores, with more amenities in them, like this store will have when it opens, and get them some training,” said Smith.

Food City HandshakeWalker County Sole Commissioner Shannon Whitfield already plans to be a regular customer once the Mission Ridge location opens. “I just live a few miles down the road and my wife has already put me on notice, this is where we’re going to start shopping.”

Whitfield also hopes to work with Food City on additional growth opportunities in the county. “They are already adding the Gas ‘N Go feature to the Food City location in LaFayette and I think they are going to have additional announcements about that store later.”

Food City has three stores in Walker County. Along with the Mission Ridge location, there are stores at 311 North Main Street in LaFayette and 319 Chickamauga Avenue in Rossville. Company wide, K-VAT operates over 130 stores in North Georgia, East Tennessee, Southwest Virginia and Southeast Kentucky.

With Growth In Mind, Whitfield Announce Staffing Changes for Walker County Government

LaFayette, GA – Walker County Sole Commissioner Shannon Whitfield is excited to announce two new members to his administration, as the county pivots from debt management as a primary focus to laying the foundation for sustainable growth.  Robert Wardlaw has been named Economic and Community Development Director and Matt Williamson has been named Legal and Policy Director for Walker County Government.

Wardlaw, a former Coca-Cola executive, built a successful business career founded on strong relationships, ethical behavior and a commitment to others.  In recent years, as a member of the Walker County Development Authority, Wardlaw gained expertise in economic development, site selection, state and federal tax incentives and helping businesses with development plans.

“We have the potential to close a number of active business deals that could lead to the creation of a significant number of jobs in Walker County,” said Commissioner Whitfield. “Wardlaw’s knowledge and proven track record in the business world gives us a competitive edge over other communities to turn these and other opportunities into winning outcomes for Walker County.”

In addition to recruiting new business and servicing existing industry, Wardlaw will work to anticipate and address current and future infrastructure needs to facilitate a thriving community.

Williamson, who served four years as an associate attorney at the highly respected law firm of Womack, Gottlieb & Rodham, will be tasked with helping Walker County keep pace with the needs of its growing citizenry.  Along with updating the county’s codes and policies, he’ll handle day to day legal issues that arise.  Williamson’s first assignment will be to oversee the update to the county’s antiquated Animal Control ordinance.

“I look forward to helping make ordinances clear and concise, reviewing and revising our contract management system, keeping the government in compliance with all federal and state laws and helping the Commissioner carry out his vision of making Walker County a better place for all of us,” said Williamson.

The new additions come at no incremental cost to Walker County. Wardlaw’s compensation will be in line with the county’s previous Economic Development Director.  Williamson, who will be restricted from receiving incentives for working on any future bond issues, will make less than what the county spent in hourly attorney’s fees last year.