BANGOR, Maine — Bangor’s newest wholesaler will open this weekend, bringing 85 full- and part-time jobs to the community.
BJ’s Wholesale Club will open its 88,588-square-foot store at 110 Longview Drive in Bangor for the first time at 9 a.m. Saturday, said Maria Fruci, a spokeswoman for BJ’s, this week.
A grand opening celebration is planned for Nov. 7 during store hours from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
BJ’s is not a retailer, meaning shoppers must purchase a $50 membership each year in order to shop there.
Nonmembers will be allowed to tour the store during the grand opening as the wholesaler pushes for new members in the area.
The store sells discounted merchandise, including groceries, beer and wine, electronics, apparel, propane, mattresses and other items.
It will feature a bakery, a full-service deli, a tire center, an optical department and a BJ’s Gas station.
“This is a great opportunity for Bangor to bring jobs to the community,” said City Council Chairman Nelson Durgin.
Of the store’s 85 jobs, 23 were filled by Bangor residents, according to the store.
Superintendent of Schools Betsy Webb said BJ’s became an Adopt-A-School partner to Downeast elementary this year.
That means the store provides financial support to the school, donates merchandise, provides free memberships for students’ families and offers general support to help students, Webb said.
In all, 95 percent of the students at Downeast School qualify for free or reduced-cost lunch, according to Webb.
The store is already a partner of Good Shepherd Food Bank of Maine, donating unsold, unexpired food for distribution to food pantries, meal sites, schools and senior programs across the state.
Last month, BJ’s awarded a $21,500 grant to Good Shepherd, according to the store.
“It’s something we believe in because it’s part of our values,” said the store’s general manager, Bob Sorg. “We want to give back to the community.”
According to Fruci, the Bangor store is BJ’s third location in Maine. The Massachusetts-based wholesaler has 209 stores nationwide, most of them on the east coast of the United States.
Follow Evan Belanger on Twitter at @evanbelanger.