Rumors have been swirling around the community for years on the prospect of ALDI, the discount supermarket chain, opening a store in Stephenville. Finally, after five years of speculation, ALDI will soon make headway in our beloved town and give residents a new place to shop.

The E-T spoke with city councilman Brandon Huckabee, who confirmed that ALDI has obtained their building permits, turned in their engineering work and are moving “full speed ahead.”

“They’re doing dirt work over there now. It’s going to be next to Panda Express,” Huckabee said. “I don’t know that I can officially say this because [ALDI hasn’t announced anything yet] but their plan is to be open by the end of the year unless something else changes.”

Huckabee said ALDI has owned the land next to Panda Express for over a year.

“They’ve went back and forth on a timeline of when they were going to open and that strictly had to do with their corporate strategy,” he said. “They’ve reached out and they submitted plans in 2019. They had to do some rework on them, but they’re all approved and they’re on board now.”

Last month TxDOT announced that a new traffic signal would be installed at the intersection of US 377 and Christy Plaza that is estimated to be completed in May.

Rumors spread with comments on social media stating that the installation of a traffic signal was because construction on an ALDI was about to begin in Stephenville.

“I know there’s been a lot of back and forth on ‘Is this really happening or really not,’ but that’s just part of the commercial development that happens,” Huckabee said. “I didn’t understand until I got into this side of the world how long it really takes for some of that stuff to come into fruition and how little influence local people or government have on it. You do all you can but it’s really up to the businesses when their timeline is so I'm glad that we’ve moved up on their timeline.”

For those who have never visited an ALDI, it can take some getting used to.

ALDI offers high quality food and specialty items at affordable prices.

To use a shopping cart, customers must deposit a quarter into a red lock attached to a cart handle. Once the customer returns the cart and locks it back, they will get their quarter back.

ALDI does not have bags for their shoppers, so customers need to bring their own bag to shop in or pay seven cents for each paper bag or 10 cents for each plastic bag.

“The most exciting thing about Aldi is there is a need within our community and it’s a need that our community has been asking for,” Huckabee said. “Adding another grocery store will hopefully help out our citizens and definitely will give people another option besides Walmart or H-E-B.”