Aylesbury’s new Waitrose store opened today to great excitement within the town.
Hundreds of shoppers flocked to the store on Exchange Street and also took to Twitter to express their determination to be among the first customers through the doors.
Joanna Adamek, her nine-year-old daughter Olivia Francis and her mother-in-law Beatie Francis were first in the queue, waiting for the store to open at 8am.
Ms Adamek, from Neyland Drive, Meadowcroft, said: “We were there from 6am.
“We wanted to be a part of Waitrose history. It was absolutely worth it, we love Waitrose, we usually go to the stores in Thame and Milton Keynes. “We think Aylesbury needs something like this.”
Ms Adamek was still in the store at 10am and said: “We’ll go for a coffee in the cafe when we are finished our shoping.
“At the moment we are getting extra special bits and pieces, in the patisserie they sell giant bourbons and my daugher loves them.
“We’re also buying artichoke hearts. We are keen cooks and my daughter is learning to cook.
“The staff are wonderful, very smart and helpful, they all look very glamourous, with their full make-up and their hair done nicely.
“I’d rather give my money to a store where the staff are not on the minimum wage and where they are part of the partnership.”
Ms Adamek said the aisles of the store are very spacious and she also likes the ‘community matters’ scheme Waitrose runs, whereby shoppers are given a token at the checkout and they can choose which of three local good causes – St Tiggywinkles, Florence Nightingale Hospice and Aylesbury Homeless Action Group – to support by putting the token into a perspex box at the exit door.
At the end of each month Waitrose donates £1,000 to the causes.
Ms Adamek and her mother-in-law were given champagne and flowers as they entered the store, and were particularly pleased to find the champagne was vegetarian.
Ms Adamek said: “That was very important to us because I am vegetarian. Vegetarian champagne doesn’t have fish bladder in it.”
She said she would do her weekly shop at the store from now on.
Aylesbury Vale District Council chairman Michael Rand was also amongst shoppers touring the store, and on Twitter lots of people announced they were intending to make a trip to the store today with one user saying, “it will be the place to see and be seen today.”