Store opening creates more than 50 new jobs

COLES has created 53 new jobs in the Ipswich region with the opening of its new supermarket at Ripley Town Centre, which will open its doors to local shoppers for the first time with a Dessert Festival this Saturday.

An additional 22 team members will transfer from nearby Coles supermarkets and a further 37 team members will join the team for the online launch in June, bringing the total number of team members to 112.

To celebrate the opening of the new store, the Ripley team will host a Dessert Festival from 7am to 1pm featuring interactive workshops for kids, delectable desserts, competitions, and a range of entertainment. Leading the workshops include former Broncos players Petero Civoniceva and Jharal Yow Yeh, and 2017 MasterChef contestant Sam Goodwin.

The new Ripley supermarket will feature an in-store bakery offering customers freshly baked goods, a gourmet delicatessen with a cheese wall and olive bar, a generous health food selection with a scoop-and-weigh station, and 300 shaded car parks.

The new range will feature hundreds of Queensland-made or grown products, including delicious bakery treats from Country Chef, fresh vegetables from Rugby Farms in Gatton and potatoes from Wickham Farms in Killarney.

Coles Click&Collect and Home Delivery will also be available from next month, allowing shoppers to order their groceries online and have them delivered to their car boot at the dedicated Click&Collect carpark or to the comfort of their own home.

Coles Ripley will also feature energy efficient measures such as solar-panelled car park shades - an initiative of the Ecco Ripley master-planned community as it works towards a Green Star accreditation.

Coles State General Manager Jerry Farrell said the new store was part of an investment of more than $45 million in the region in the past four years.

"We're working to provide locals in Ripley with an enhanced shopping experience by offering the latest in fresh food technology, and by making grocery shopping more enjoyable and convenient," he said.

"It's also fantastic to be creating new job opportunities in this growing region with more than 230 local jobs provided over the past four years, and we're pleased to welcome 65 new recruits to our Ripley store."

Ripley Store Manager Adam Brookes said he was delighted with the support and enthusiasm from the local community, and is excited to give back.

"Ipswich is one of the fastest-growing regions in Queensland and the team is really looking forward to becoming part of the community and growing alongside it," he said.

"Once the store opens, we will be pleased to donate singlets and boxing equipment to local South Ripley boxing club, Rhema Boxing, which will also be kicking off the first of many community BBQs on our opening day."

On Saturdays and Sundays, other local organisations will have the opportunity to host their own barbeques at the store to raise funds for their school, sporting team or special cause.

Coles Ripley will officially open to shoppers at 7am on Saturday, 19 May.

Free goodie bags will be available to the first 100 customers through the doors.