Stroud Mall’s ShopRite opened their doors today, offering consumers “a whole new shopping experience” that redefines the concept of a grocery store. The store, located at the former Bon-Ton, will celebrated its grand opening starting at 10 a.m. with a ribbon cutting ceremony.
Third-generation supermarket owner and director of marketing and business development for Village Super Market Perry Blatt said that the owners and 400 store employees are excited to open the store and become “a community destination for food, fun, family and friends.”
“We have all the local favorites, low prices, foods and services for our customers along with new and exciting features that make this supermarket a true destination location,” Blatt said. “We believe our team has created a special shopping experience, unique in the region and state, and our associates can’t wait to debut this amazing supermarket.”
And while a grocery store in a mall might seem like a strange concept, CBL Properties, the owners of the Stroud Mall, see it as a step in an exciting new direction.
“CBL’s vision is to transform our properties from traditional malls to suburban town centers, and the addition of ShopRite certainly illustrates that vision,” CBL chief executive officer Stephen Lebovitz said.
Each fresh department, from the bakery to the meat and cheese counters to the produce section, will be staffed with experts focused on making food preparation easier for customers, Village Super Market marketing manager Amanda Fischer said.
“A key theme of the store is that spending time with your family is really important, so what can we as a supermarket do to help you spend more time with your family?” Fischer said. “There are a lot of value added time savers.” Highlights include the Signature Celebration Station, where customers can get custom cakes and pastries with an artistic flourish, and the “Chop Shop,” a “produce butcher” ready to help anyone slice and dice even the trickiest fruits and veggies.
And if you are interested in some spiralized vegetables for a healthy dinner, that produce butcher has you covered. “Potatoes, zucchini, daikon radish, turnips, beets, we can do it all,” produce and floral director Ed Keefe said. “We do it right here, every day, fresh, seven days a week.”
Fischer said that the produce section will feature over 150 organic options on a daily basis, along with local fruits and vegetables from nearby farms.
Over in the meat department, shoppers can utilize the expertise of ShopRite’s “Craft Butchers,” who will custom cut meat for free. Customers can count on the same options at the seafood and deli and cheese departments.
Options at the seafood counter will be extra-fresh thanks to the company’s “flown in overnight” program, which fast-tracks fish right to the store.
“We’re boat to store in 24 hours from Alaska and Hawaii,” Fischer said. “Things like tuna and salmon that people really want to enjoy, but sometimes they’ve got to freeze it, we get it fresh in 24 hours to the store.”
Throughout the vast aisles of the store’s center, customers will be able to find plenty of exciting new products that cater to any and all tastes. Expanded international selections and plenty of specialty diet options are prevalent throughout the aisles.
Under the Kitchen and Co. section in the dry goods area, shoppers will be able to find pantry staples ranging from flour and spices to food preparation supplies and cookware.
The centerpiece of the store, the Village Food Garden, functions as a comprehensive food hall with options including the Village Sub Shop, the VFG Diner, LaPiazetta Trattoria, Mr. Perry’s Smokehouse, Mura Sushi and Asian Fare, and “The Kitchen,” which will cover the hot bar, cold bar, soup bar and Mediterranean bar.
“All of these hundreds and hundreds of food options can be ordered over here and enjoyed in our seating area,” Fischer said.Bin37, the in-house bar and restaurant, will feature a full menu prepared in the store by chefs, local craft brews on tap, local wines, and a craft cocktail list that pays homage to the neighborhood with drinks like the Jacob Stroud, the Cavalier, and Stranded at the Dansbury. Each night at the restaurant will feature a specialty dish, including lobster, pasta and more.
“It’s really a way for you to come in with your family and enjoy that family time,” Fischer said. “Everybody get whatever they want. If the kids want chicken fingers off the hot bar, mom wants sushi, dad wants barbeque, grandma wants oysters on the half shell with a martini, they can have it.”
Ordering kiosks will be spread throughout the store, where customers can enter their requests, shop, and pick up their meals on the way out.
The store will also feature ShopRite from Home, where customers can order online and pick up their groceries at their convenience. Delivery service will also be available through Shipt.
Blatt said that even with all the bells and whistles, the new store will still honor the values that ShopRite and Village Super Market have held dear for nearly four decades together.
“You’re going to see some cool stuff in the way of perishables, food service, take-home options and all of these extras, but it’s still the same great ShopRite pricing,” Blatt said. “We’re still having the Can-Can Sale, the free turkey around Thanksgiving time if you qualify, all of those things that people know about ShopRite.”
As Blatt puts it, the new location will serve as a sort of community hub, where individuals and families will be able to connect and bond over a shared love of food.
“I’m very proud of it,” Blatt said. “Our company came here in 1980, so it was a while ago, and just the idea of being able to build something big and unique for the customers who have been shopping here this whole time is great. It’s a totally new experience. We’re proud to put this here for the community.”