Amid the hustle of the grand opening of the Goody’s department store in Havelock, one person found a relatively quiet spot. It was James Hunter, and for a time he found himself alone in the men’s department.
He was quick to point out that he came to the April 18 grand opening with his wife, Marie.
“She’s around someplace,” he said.
Despite being one of the few men among the couple of hundred people who lined up as the doors opened for the first time, he found himself shopping right along with everyone else.
“I’m a retired Marine, and I told my wife we needed to practice our new retired life, so we’ve got to come to all these grand openings,” he said.
Shoppers for the grand opening received coupons and gift bags, and took to the store right away, lining up at the registers. Everything from dresses, shirts to shoes and jewelry was going through the checkout line.
Emonie Oglesby said she was looking at jewelry and clothing but had yet to make any choices.
“I’m not sure,” she said. “I’m just looking around.”
She was impressed with the cleanliness of the store, recalling when the building at 349 West Main St., used to house a Salvation Army store.
“They did an amazing job,” she said.
Kailey Murphy said she remembered a Goody’s store in New Bern before it closed and was happy to see one open in Havelock.
“I like it,” she said. “And, it’s right in town.”
Store officials said they were glad for the opportunity to open in Havelock.
“We’re excited,” Chris Morris, group manager for Goody’s, told the crowd during the official ribbon cutting. “We’re excited to be in Havelock, and we want to thank you for welcoming us. A whole lot of effort went into this store, and we think it’s the best store for Havelock. We think you’re going to like what you see.”
For manager Haley Sullivan, the occasion of the grand opening was emotional.
“I didn’t think I’d cry, but I might,” she said, tears flowing.
She thanked all the employees who worked to get the store ready for the grand opening as well as all the customers who lined up for the first day.
“We look forward to seeing everyone everyday,” she said.
Stephanie Duncan, executive director of the Havelock Chamber of Commerce, said Goody’s has already had an impact on the city with a sponsorship of the upcoming chamber and Rotary club Havelock Heritage Blues Festival on Friday night.
“They’re already coming into the community with great support,” she said.
Havelock commissioner Will Lewis, the mayor pro tem, officially welcomed Goody’s to the city during the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
“We’re excited to have Goody’s in Havelock,” he said. “It’s good to see everyone shopping in Havelock and not have to leave.”
Lewis said he recalled coming inside the building as a child when it was an A&P grocery store, and he was happy to see the building with new life.
“It’s nice to see the evolution and the city growing this way,” he said.
Regular store hours will be 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and noon to 6 p.m. Sundays. The store’s phone number is 444-0748.