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AYER — Ayer once again has a grocery store to call its own.

The new Ayer Shop n’ Save held its grand opening Thursday morning. Located at 22 Fitchburg Road, the new Shop n’ Save replaced what used to be Hannaford. Owner Mike Szelest, who runs Central Supermarket in Winchendon, was present to welcome his store’s first shoppers.

“We had a pretty great crowd when we opened and I am just excited to be here and provide for the community,” Szelest said.

The store’s items are supplied by Hannaford and offer customers similar prices to what they used to see.

“The Ayer community is going to continue to benefit from the same low prices that they used to see with Hannaford and we really look forward to revitalizing a market that has been here for over 60 years,” said Mark Sprackland, consultant for Shop n’ Save.

The opening of Shop n’ Save has created more than 60 jobs, according to Sprackland.

“Typically independent businesses, like this one, create jobs and they give back three times the municipality that big corporations often do so this is really special for Ayer as far as the work force and development,” Sprackland said.

The grocery store is also partnering with local farmers and plans to expand their business with others in the future.

“While this store is supplied by Hannaford, we have the right to partner with local farmers that we are already working with and we understand the capabilities in producing and sell unique items that are produced here in Mass or at least in New England,” Sprackland said.

Shop n’ Save is the only supermarket currently serving the community of Ayer and shoppers were happy to welcome the new store.

“I used to have to go to Lunenburg to shop but this being here is so great, especially if you

want something quick like milk- its just so convenient,” said Lorraine Anderson, an Ayer Resident.

“I am just so excited about the store because its brand new and clean,” added Carol Madigan, also of Ayer. “Before this opened I had to go to Shaw’s in Groton which made it hard, especially for someone who doesn’t drive, so this is wonderful.”