Montana's newest Albertson's will open on February 2 in Laurel.

It's been a year since construction crews started showing up at the former Laurel IGA. Reese and Ray's sadly closed in May 2022. When it did, residents were limited to one grocery option; Walmart. We miss having another choice. When I reached out to Albertson's corporate office in 2022, they responded,

This store will be converted to an Albertsons location during the upcoming remodel project and will be stocked to meet the needs of the neighborhoods around it. Albertsons HR team members met with current Reese & Ray’s IGA associates to discuss employment opportunities available at the new Laurel store, as well as at other Albertsons and Safeway stores in the surrounding area.

When the "coming soon" signs first went up in January 2023, I thought maybe the store would be open by late summer, or at least in time for the holidays. My guess was a few months off.

We love the new-store smell. Credit Michael Foth, TSM
We love the new-store smell. Credit Michael Foth, TSM
loading...

I've watched dozens of subcontractor trucks rotate through the parking lot over the last 12 months. Plumbers, HVAC crews, electricians, and other specialized trade workers have now completed their work, and employee training has been underway at the soon-to-open Albertsons.

Credit Canva
Credit Canva
loading...

The store includes a Starbucks.

My 12-year-old daughter was thrilled when she spotted the Starbucks logo on the side of the renovated building. The store will also have a pharmacy and everything else you expect at an Albertsons: a deli, a bakery, a butcher counter, etc. I hope it will have one of those big Montana Lottery vending machines too.

NAPA relocated next to the new Albertsons. Credit Michael Foth, TSM
NAPA relocated next to the new Albertsons. Credit Michael Foth, TSM
loading...

NAPA's new location flanks the southern side of the new Albertsons. The auto parts store relocated a few months ago into what was formerly a (long-vacant) drugstore.

KBUL NEWS TALK 970 AM & 103.3 FM logo
Get our free mobile app
The Cracked Egg, Laurel, MT. Credit Michael Foth, TSM
The Cracked Egg, Laurel, MT. Credit Michael Foth, TSM
loading...

Other new-ish businesses in Laurel.

If you haven't been to Laurel recently, there are a couple of relatively new places lining our streets. One is The Cracked Egg, a family-operated breakfast restaurant near the corner of Main and 1st Ave.

Kava Roots/The Vault Bistro, Laurel, MT. Credit Michael Foth, TSM
Kava Roots/The Vault Bistro, Laurel, MT. Credit Michael Foth, TSM
loading...

Next to The Cracked Egg is Kava Roots/The Vault Bistro. So far, I have only been in to try kava (for the first time), but we're hearing great things about their simple food menu too, which features handmade burgers, tacos, and other tasty entrees.

LOOK: Here's how much grocery shopping now costs in the U.S.

The average cost of groceries for one person per month in 2023 was around $337. But how does your state compare? Do you pay more, or less? Data compiled by Zippia takes a look at the average monthly grocery bill per person in all 50 states. States are listed from least expensive to most expensive and are rounded up to the nearest dollar.

Gallery Credit: Mike Brant