GARDINER — After three long months, Gardiner’s Hannaford supermarket is scheduled to reopen Wednesday following store renovations prompted by December’s storm.

“Being back in the home store, it’s like going on vacation — it’s nice to be on vacation, but great to be back home,” said Josh Campbellton, the assistant produce manager at the local supermarket. 

Campbellton was one of the several employees at the store on Tuesday morning adding last-minute produce and food to the shelves as the store gears up to open at 7 a.m. on Wednesday.

“I’m really excited to be back at home,” Campbellton said.

December’s historic storm, which caused damage to most of downtown Gardiner, brought around 3 feet of water into the supermarket and created significant damage throughout the store, ruining the checkout lanes, refrigerators and food products. 


The flood caused food to fall off the shelves and several of the machines that refrigerated the food were damaged.

“There was a lot to clean up,” said Brittney Quirion, the District 3 director of operations for Hannaford. “There was product everywhere.”

During the clean-up and construction process, customers had to shop elsewhere, many opting for the Goggin’s IGA in Randolph or one of the other nearby Hannaford locations. When news of the reopening caught wind, local shoppers said they were eager to see it reopen. 

Hannaford could not share the exact number of people that shop at the Gardiner location, but categorized the store as both a neighborhood and a big-shop store. It noted that customers frequent the store both to do their weekly grocery shopping and to pick up a few items here and there.

A woman looks at flooding at the Hannaford supermarket in Gardiner the day after the Dec. 18 storm. Three months later, after extensive renovations, the supermarket is set to reopen Wednesday. Anna Chadwick/Morning Sentinel file photo

Rob Meader, the store manager in Gardiner, was there the morning after the flood and helped assess the damage and aid in the cleanup. Any salvageable food was donated to farmers in the area, and if an item could be recycled, it was.

Hannaford declined to say how much the construction cost, but the renovation was significant.


Work started after the damage was assessed and cleaned up. An 8-foot moisture-resistant wallboard was added to the sheetrock.

Among the store’s new and renovated features are 16 checkout lines — including 11 self-checkout aisles — as well as a pizza and hot bar that is expected to be installed in the upcoming months.  

“Our customer base was asking for more self-checkouts,” said Meader.

Tom Pietroski, left, and Kendra Campbell stock cases of soda at the end of an aisle Tuesday at the Hannaford supermarket in Gardiner. The supermarket is set to reopen Wednesday following renovations caused by flood damage from the December storm. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

During the time the store was closed, employees filled in at other Hannaford stores in the area, including at the supermarkets in Winthrop and Augusta.

Nearly all 180 employees are expected to return to the Gardiner store. Employees started preparing the supermarket a few weeks ago, first stocking the center aisles of the store with nonperishables.

And a lot of people in Gardiner are happy to see them back, including, Meader said, local businesses that benefit from the customers the supermarket draws.

“A couple area businesses asked when we are going to reopen,” said Meader. “The community is ready for it.”

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