Leverton was happy to again have a grocery in her favorite location and pleased with what she was seeing in the new store.

"This is really a nice store," she said. "It's beautiful."

Long Island natives Marshall and Leslie Gollance drove from their home in Pikesville to visit the store on opening day because they grew up shopping at ShopRite stores.

"It brought back memories," Marshall Gollance said.

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The store will soon offer ShopRite's Culinary Workshops, billed as a cooking program taught by professional chefs, according to the company.

The Timonium store will also offer ShopRite from Home, a program that allows customers to order groceries online and set up a time to pick up the goods from the store.

Owings Mills resident Erin Peisach, 24, is a registered dietitian, and has been hired to work at the ShopRite full time to give customers tours of the store, hold classes and advise customers on nutrition. Peisach thinks grocery stores with staff dietitians are the way of the future.

"I think it's a new trend that's going to be catching on," she said.

If a customer comes in and has just been told by a doctor to go on a low-sodium diet, or to be careful of sugar intake, Peisach's job is "to take them to the products that they can buy," she said.

During the opening, Peisach manned a table where she was giving away samples of fruit smoothies and chatting up the customers.

"So far, I think diabetes will be the big one with nutrition counseling," she said. "I've heard a lot here standing at the table, people saying 'I've got Type II.' "

ShopRite also includes a coffee bar, a customer lounge for those who want to dine in, a floral department and a pharmacy. There is an international foods aisle, and natural and organic products. Near the entrance is a bar of ready-to-eat hot foods, an olive bar, pizza by the slice and a grain and salad bar.

ShopRite of Timonium is open daily from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., and the pharmacy is open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

New Jersey native Steve Starzynski, 30, is the new store manager.

"I started out bagging groceries close to 12 years ago," he said.

Starzynski went to college for a while, returned to ShopRite and worked his way up. This is the first time he's been store manager.

Starzynski said he's currently staying at a nearby hotel and shopping for a place to live. But he said he, and ShopRite, hope to plant roots in the community.

"We're here to stay," Starzynski said. "We really want to be part of the community."