A line of customers waited, many with bags in hand, for the doors to officially open at the new Waukee ALDI store. The line wrapped around the building before the ribbon was officially cut Thursday morning, Nov. 21.

A soft opening was held on Wednesday, Nov. 20 before the ribbon was cut on Nov. 21.

“We had a great reception of customers,” Division Vice President Matt Lilla said of the soft opening. “They came in and I think they were amazed with how gorgeous, open and bright the store is.”

Lilla said one of the features of the newer ALDI stores is the focus on fresh food. The produce section is the first thing that customers see after walking through the doors in Waukee. A fresh bread section, which includes several new specialty breads, is followed by cheeses, fresh meats and more.

Lilla added that the newer stores feature around 40 percent more products than the older stores. The larger store in Waukee allowed more room for refrigerated items, ALDI products, gluten free foods, a wine section and more.

“The business continues to evolve and I think customers have been very excited about the changes that we’ve made,” Lilla said. “What our focus is now is to try and create value for our customers. The way that we do that is we help them save time and money.”

He is looking forward to bringing that same value to the Waukee market.

“Driving around the area, you can see how thriving it is,” Lilla said. “There is an incredible amount of traffic and homes, so it’s a market that we recognize is going to continue to grow and be a huge area in the Des Moines suburbs and we definitely want to be a part of that.”

Local residents were excited to get a look into the new store with many lining up from the front door and wrapping all the way behind the store on Nov. 21.

“The Waukee community has been great so far,” Lilla said. “I think the reception here is going to be fantastic and we’ll be here for a long time.”

The Waukee store, located at 1030 E. Hickman Rd., will be open daily from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.