After weeks of peeking into the window at Du Jour Fine Foods, Michele Hattman said she was glad to make her first trip there Friday.
While on her lunch break, the downtown business owner purchased a box of cereal and a deli sandwich at the grocery. Ms. Hattman said the deli and grocery is just what downtown needed.
"I'm just so excited that it's here," she said. "It's just so much easier for me to stop by here and grocery shop rather than wait until I get home to shop in Hephzibah."
Shoppers strolled into the grocery in the 11th block of Broad Street on Friday to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables, deli meat, bread and other items.
Du Jour adds one more stop for downtown business owners and dwellers who want to have food, fun and shopping all in one area, said Margaret Woodard, the executive director of the Downtown Development Authority of Augusta. About 3,000 people live in the downtown district and more than 17,000 work there, she said.
"I feel like it's a great alternative for this community," she said. "If you want to get a few things, and you don't want to go to North Augusta or get in your car to get it, this is a great shop to have a quick place to go to."
The store's owner, Andrea Lombardo, said that when she moved to Augusta a year ago she recognized the need for a grocery downtown.
"I noticed that when you're out downtown you can't find as much as a bottled water," the Brooklyn native said. "I just thought this would be a good place for people to pick up things for dinner and not have to go out to eat.
"I hope that providing this will be an incentive for more people to move downtown," she said.
Lydia Guisto, who lives a few blocks from Du Jour, said she was hoping the store would offer more of her grocery needs, but she still plans to shop there.
"I would like to see more things in bulk and more variety," she said. "For now, it's a good place to fill in the blanks with dairy and pasta. I'm glad to be able to get on my bike and pick up some groceries."
Reach Stephanie Toone at (706) 823-3215 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
DU JOUR FINE FOODS
WHAT: A grocery and deli that offers pasta, bread, fresh fruits and vegetables, deli meats, soap, toilet paper and other domestic items
WHERE: 1128 Broad St.
HOURS: Monday-Sunday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.