MT. VERNON — A blessing and the formal cutting of a ribbon officially kicked off the grand opening of the Hobby Lobby store at Times Square Mall on Monday.
"We're very, very pleased to have Hobby Lobby here in Mt. Vernon and to have Winston Hackett from the corporate office to bless the store and our community and we're certainly pleased to have all of their employees as well as Williamson Asia, a supplier and vendor for Hobby Lobby," said Councilman David Wood, filling in for Mayor Mary Jane Chesley, who was unable to attend the grand opening. "It's just another sign Mt. Vernon, something great is going on here, and this is where our future growth and future sales tax revenues lie."
Hackett offered a prayer of blessing on the Mt. Vernon store. He is from the corporate office in Oklahoma City. Hackett said Hobby Lobby is a family-oriented organization, with short hours and closed on Sundays.
"That's very important. We give our employees an opportunity to be with their families and go to church. We close at 8 every night. We're open short hours so they can have quality family time," said Hackett of Management Ministries.
Store hours are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
"We are so thrilled to be coming to Mt. Vernon," said store manager Marla Wilson, who transferred from the store in Fairview Heights.
"We've had so many people from the store asking for the store and now we're finally here and it's going to be a wonderful experience for everyone. I think the community is going to just as excited to have us as we much as we are excited being here."
The new store will be a shorter commute for Wilson, who is a Centralia resident.