EXCITED shoppers flocked to the opening of a new store in Tonge Moor.

Heron Foods opened its brand new branch in Tonge Moor Road at 9am, on Thursday.

Just before 9am on Thursday, pupils from Tonge Moor Primary Academy performed Labi Siffre hit ‘Something Inside So Strong’ before volunteers from nearby charity Hope 4 Homeless cut the ribbon.

73-year-old Carol Hill was the first shopper through the doors and she was thoroughly impressed by the new shop.

Mrs Hill, who lives a five-minute walk from the store in Brierwood, said: “I thought I’d get here quick because I get up at 5am anyway.

“I usually go to the Co-op but it’s expensive. Last week I went in and told them they won’t be seeing me again once this opens. I’ll be here tomorrow again, I’ll be here every day now.

“The choir was absolutely lovely as well.”

The shop has been built on the site of the former Starkie Arms pub, which was demolished late last year.

The first 100 customers were also given a goodie bag worth over £5.

Store manager Neil Humes, who has worked for Heron Foods for over 20 years, said: “We’re incredibly excited about the opening of our brand new store and I’m hugely proud of everyone who has worked together to get us opened on time and looking so fantastic.

"We will work with local people and groups to identify ways that we can do our bit for the regeneration of the area.”

Heron Foods also presented a cheque for £250 to Hope 4 Homeless, which has a charity shop across the road from the new store.

A donations bin, similar to one in Harwood Morrison’s will also be in place at the store to allow shoppers to donate any unwanted items for homeless people.

One of the charity’s founders, Jamilah Rashid said: “A couple of months ago they asked us to cut the ribbon because they wanted to give to a local charity so it was nice that they chose us.

“It’s amazing because we’re always in need of tents and sleeping bags. We never have enough because once they get wet, we need a new one.

“In this area, it will do well and they’ve allowed us to have a donations bin in there which is absolutely great.”