CENTRAL, La. (BRPROUD) — A well-known grocery store chain ALDI is expanding across Louisiana, including here in East Baton Rouge Parish. The store opened for business during the soft opening Wednesday morning.

People lined up outside of ALDI anticipating the opening of the first location in Central. This is the ninth store in the state of Louisiana.

“My first thought was I’m going to be the first one in the door,” said Rita Eisbrenner-Frith, Central Resident.

For some, it’s their first time stepping foot inside the decades-old grocery store. For others, it brought back memories. One lady is from Germany where ALDI was founded in 1913. 

“It feels like home. And that’s very important to me,” said Rita Eisbrenner-Frith.

If you’re a long-time ALDI shopper, then you will notice something new to their store layout. They’ve added self-checkout lanes. If you’re someone who still likes in-person interaction, you have the option of going to a cashier.

“We know some customers feel really comfortable using it. And we know some don’t. So again, it’s just another easy convenience for our customers to choose from,” said Heather Moore, Vice President of the Loxley Division.

“I like the one one-on-one person interaction, the whole town kind of thing,” said Michael Reines, Central Resident.

Something else that’s different is the bring your own bags and the “lend a quarter” shopping cart system.

Moore said the smaller store layout allows people to get in and out in no time. 

“Everybody is incredibly busy. Schools are back in session. There’s a lot going on. We’re 12,000 square feet. We’re going to get you the highest quality at the best price. And we’re going to get you back to your life,” said Moore.

According to Moore, 90% of the goods sold are ALDI-exclusive brands making food a lot cheaper for customers.

“Really, the good prices on your normal stuff, like your milk and your eggs, you know, staples that have gone up so much at other stores lately,” said Michael Reines, Central Resident.

“Very good prices. And with the economy that’s important to everyone, including me,” said Lizz Sanchez, Central Resident.

ALDI gets fresh produce seven days a week. They also sell a variety of meats and cheeses. Moore said they guarantee great service and good quality products.

“If a customer is dissatisfied with the product. We’re going to refund them their money and give them a replacement,” said Moore.

Each store has an “ALDI Find” section. This is where customers will find exclusive and trendy items like LSU tailgate gear and fall decor.

When asked what they were looking forward to the most, everyone had something different to say.

“As you see, it’s beautiful here. I like that it’s cleanest also,” said Linda Johnson, Central resident.

“Yes, the service is great and I just love it,” said Brenda Higgins, a 50-year Central resident.

The grand opening is Thursday at 9:00 a.m. located at 14350 Grand Settlement Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA 70818. The first 100 customers will get a gift card ranging from $10 to $100.

If you shop anytime between Thursday and closing on Sunday, you will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win a $500 gift card.

ALDI is expected to open two more locations in Baton Rouge by the end of 2023.