When my husband and I first moved to Stafford County back in 1988, our daughter was 2 1/2; and our son was only a few months old. I was a stay-at-home mom transplanted from Long Island, New York – to Towson, Maryland – to Woodbridge, Virginia – and finally to Stafford/Fredericksburg, Virginia. I was a bit confused, to say the least.
Adapting to life in Stafford in 1988 was like learning to swim without using my arms. I was drowning in the country life. Someone PLEASE find me a mall where I can buy maternity clothes or a grocery store where the local hardware store isn’t attached!
As old-fashioned as this area sounds, we have come a long way, baby. Earl’s Supermarket became Earl’s True Value Hardware Store/Local Post Office. I kid you not! Luckily (or not), I had a Food Lion Grocery Store at my disposal. But because it seemed I had rather sophisticated taste for this area (I didn’t know I did, but it sure seemed that way), I needed to go north to do my grocery shopping.
In Prince William County, I had Shopper’s Food Warehouse at my disposal which offered me the variety of foods I was accustomed to. It wasn’t long before SFW moved south to North Stafford but it was still a 25 minute drive to do my grocery shopping.
By the 1990’s, Fredericksburg was booming and the appearance of Central Park brought a SFW. That was only a 15 minute commute so things were definitely picking up. It wasn’t until after the new millennium that I got a brand new Giant shopping center within only 8 minutes of my house. I was ecstatic. I watched daily as they finished up the parking lot and I prepared to be the first person in there when they opened their doors just before Thanksgiving several years ago.
But it doesn’t stop there. In March of 2007, the Maryland based food chain opened a new prototype store on Celebrate Virginia Parkway in Stafford. Super Giant opened a whole new shopping experience. “The 75,100 square foot store, which is the company’s largest operating unit, is a departure from conventional Giant store layouts and has been redesigned with a totally new interior décor, including new store signage, and larger food and pharmacy departments in a state-of-the-art energy efficient building.” With farmer’s market type produce stands, a Starbuck’s, and a huge selection of products, it offers the kind of shopping I was looking for 20 years ago.
It doesn’t stop there. There is even a new, high-end Wegmans that will be opening up in Central Park. And don’t get me started on singing the praises of Costco…a blessing of gargantuan proportions for a mother of 5! Boy, we’ve come a long way from picking up a gallon of milk and a box of lug nuts at Earl’s!