A new Stop & Shop on Route 25A in Rocky Point officially opened its doors to the public Sept. 29, offering its customers an expansive selection of organic and natural foods, fresh meats and locally-sourced produce, as well as the company’s only fresh herb garden and its largest deli department in the region.
The 58,000 square foot store replaces the former Super Foodtown and stands as the second Stop & Shop in the immediate area, with a location down 25A in Miller Place. It has created 20 new jobs for Suffolk County residents, while keeping 99 percent of Foodtown’s associates employed.
“We’re trying to give the customers absolutely everything,” said Bob Harman, the director of deli and bakery. “We’ve gone above and beyond to try to make this the best offering for them, and we’re trying to make the old Foodtown customer happy as well as any Stop & Shop customer — just trying to blend the best of both worlds to make everyone happy.”
Kelly Scott, of Ridge, said she’s happy to have a new Stop & Shop close by.
“It was definitely needed here,” Scott said. “And it seems to have a lot more of a selection of everything. I’ll be coming back here all the time.”
Monica Stone, from Mount Sinai, called Stop & Shop her supermarket of choice and said she understands why a second location was put on 25A.
“I’ve always shopped at the Miller Place one, but it’s always crazy in there,” Stone said, referring to that location’s crowds and it being under-stocked as a result. “This one is well-stocked and everything’s new and it looks great. I’m glad they handed out aisle guides because items aren’t exactly in the same places as in Miller Place, but it’s very nice overall.”
“When you only have one store, you have one choice. I don’t like when there are two next to each other because then they’re the only game in town.”
Manager Paul Gallo pointed out the “bigger and better” aspects of the store, including the organic herb garden.
“We’re here for the community ,and this is one of our bigger facilities where the customer can really shop more freely,” Gallo said.
The store has an all-new layout with wider aisles and selection. The deli department offers customers the same Boar’s Head sandwiches and grab-and-go coldcut offerings, but also boasts a new slider program and slab bacon.
There is a variety of fresh sushi available in the prepared food department and even fresh-fried tortilla chips. The bakery section is not only stocked with store-made cakes, but local Long Island pies and shelves of gluten-free, sugar-free and peanut-free treats.
Customers will also experience all-natural seafood, like shrimp, scallop, smoked salmon and crawfish pulled straight the Great South Bay.
“You name it, we have it,” said Al Apuzzo, director of meat and seafood.
Rocky Point resident Kathy Gallup said she feels good about what the store has to offer.
“I like to eat organic food and it definitely offers more of that than Foodtown,” she said.
But Rocky Point’s Susie Capell said she’s going to miss Foodtown.
“I loved Foodtown,” she said. “I liked the setup and the sales were good.”
But Capell also understands why what Stop & Shop has its benefits to the community.
“For my nephew, gluten-free is a big deal,” she said. “My sister only goes to Stop & Shop for that reason. She’s thrilled, I know that.”
William Pellenz, of Sound Beach, raised concern over this one being so close to the one down the road.
“That doesn’t give you any choices,” he said. “When you only have one store, you have one choice. I don’t like when there are two next to each other because then they’re the only game in town.”
But Maryann Horton was all smiles while she picked out fresh fruit.
“I love it,” the Rocky Point resident said of the new store. “We always went down to the other one and we just love the store. Now that Stop & Shop’s here, I’m very happy.”