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The Whole Foods in Lake Grove, above, will soon be joined by a second Suffolk County store. File photo

Suffolk County is getting a second Whole Foods Market in Commack. The new store, located at the site of the former King Kullen at 120 Veterans Memorial Highway, will hold a grand opening on April 3 at 9 a.m. with complimentary coffee and breakfast pastries offered at 8 a.m. Reusable canvas shopping bags will be handed out to the first 200 customers.

The market will be the fourth Whole Foods location on Long Island. The others are in Jericho, Manhasset and Lake Grove.

“We’re eager to open our doors to the Commack community,” said store team leader Lorraine Barker in a statement. “We look forward to providing our customers with a variety of products to meet all of their needs, while also offering the highest quality service and providing a neighborhood gathering space.”

According to a press release, the new 45,000-square-foot store will offer fresh produce, full-service butcher and seafood departments; an in-house bakery; a hot and cold prepared foods section; coffee and juice bars; beer from local producers; and 142 bins of bulk scoop items. It will also feature a fast-casual eatery that will serve wine and locally brewed beer on tap.

Owned by online retail giant Amazon, the Commack store will employ a total of 200 full- and part-time team members. Following the grand opening, store hours will be 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. For more information, visit www.wholefoodsmarket.com.

ShopRite held a grand opening celebration for its newest store, a state-of-the-art, full-service supermarket in Port Jefferson Station, on Friday, March 8. Located at 5145 Nesconset Highway in Port Jefferson Station, the 68,000-square-foot supermarket will be operated by the Gallagher family.

During the ribbon cutting, the Gallagher family presented a check for $10,000 to Long Island Cares food bank, as well as $1,000 to the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6249, Rocky Point.

The existing retail space was completely renovated to make way for a new ShopRite with a convenient shopping format. The store was outfitted with the latest energy-saving and sustainable technologies, including LED lighting and environmentally friendly, energy-efficient refrigerant systems. The parking lot was refreshed with new landscaping and lighting. The store will employ approximately 250 people, many of them local residents.

An in-store, registered dietitian will provide free nutrition and wellness counseling to customers, associates and the community, and the new store will also offer a large selection of organic, local and gluten-free foods and fresh produce. Expanded gluten-free options are available in grocery, bakery and the frozen aisle, and the store also offers a refrigerated dairy-free section.

“We are very excited to bring ShopRite to Port Jefferson with the opening of this state-of-the-art shopping destination. This new supermarket is committed to providing low prices, outstanding service and health and wellness options to the local community,” said Charles Gallagher, president of Gallagher Family Markets.

Charles and his wife, Judith, who also own and operate the ShopRites in Selden and Lake Ronkonkoma, will be joined by other members of the family in running the new store, which is now open daily from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. For more information, call 631-476-5717.

See more photos from the grand opening event at www.tbrnewsmedia.com/arts-lifestyles/.

All photos courtesy of BML Public Relations

Photo from Legislature Tom Muratore's office

RIBBON CUTTING

Legislator Tom Muratore’s   legislative staff joined members of the Middle Country Chamber of Commerce, Town of Brookhaven, other county officials and the crew at Planet Fitness to celebrate the grand opening of its newest location at 321 Middle Country Road in Selden in Selden Plaza next to Pet Depot, on Feb. 19. The event included a tour of the facility and a pizza celebration.

“I welcome Planet Fitness to the community as well as the shopping center where my district office is located,” stated Muratore (R-Ronkonkoma). “I also wish them much success in the years ahead.” 

“We’re thrilled to bring our new Judgement Free fitness experience to Selden, and we encourage everyone to come check out the new club, meet our friendly staff, get a tour and see what the Judgement Free Zone is all about,” said Rich Childs, senior director of Corporate Club Operations at Planet Fitness in a statement.

Pictured in the front row, from left, Planet Fitness staff members Jose Robles and Anthony Napoli; William Maggi, aide to Muratore; Cara Pagan, senior regional operations manager, Planet Fitness; Pastor Scott Kraniak, Greater Middle Country Chamber of Commerce; Doug Smith (R-Holbrook), New York State assemblyman 5th District; Bob Martinez, chief of staff to Muratore; Jeanette Spillane, Planet Fitness club manager; Thomas Heinlein, aide to Brookhaven Town Councilman Kevin LaValle (R-Selden); Ryan Gessner, assistant director, Middle Country Public Library; and Thomas Lupo, representing Suffolk County Comptroller John Kennedy (R).

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Stop & Shop announced on Jan. 4 that the company plans to acquire Long Island-based King Kullen. The purchase agreement will include 32 King Kullen supermarkets, five Wild by Nature stores and the use of King Kullen Grocery corporate office located in Bethpage. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2019, according to a press release. Financial terms were not disclosed.

“King Kullen is a well-respected grocery chain in the Long Island market that has an 88-year tradition of excellent customer service,” said Mark McGowan, president of Stop & Shop, in a news release. “We look forward to bringing our quality, selection and value to more communities in Nassau and Suffolk counties.”

King Kullen, which opened on Jamaica Avenue in Queens in 1930, is recognized by the Smithsonian Institution as the America’s first “supermarket.” 

“Our family has been in the grocery business for 88 years,” Brian Cullen, co-president of King Kullen Grocery Co., said in a statement. “Recently, we determined that the best option for our family and our associates was to merge King Kullen into Stop & Shop.”

“As a family-owned and operated business, we are very proud of our heritage and extremely grateful to all of our associates and customers for their support over the years,” he continued, adding, “We are confident the Stop & Shop brand will carry on our legacy of service in the region. It has been an honor and a privilege to be part of the fabric of this Island for all these years.”

In Suffolk County, King Kullen has locations in Blue Point, Bridgehampton, Center Moriches, Cutchogue, Eastport, Halesite, Hampton Bays, Huntington Station, Lake Ronkonkoma, Lindenhurst, Manorville, Middle Island, Mount Sinai, North Babylon, North Patchogue, Shirley, St. James and Wading River while Wild by Nature stores in Suffolk County are located in East Setauket, West Islip, Hampton Bays and Huntington.

It is not yet known whether the stores being acquired will continue to operate under their current banners or become Stop & Shop.

From left, Frank Recco, CFO Recco Home Care; Nancy Geiger, director, Gurwin Home Care Agency; Claudia Hammar, president NYS Association of Health Care Providers (NYSHCP); and Taryn Birkmire, executive director of Recco Home Care Photo courtesy of Gurwin Home Care Agency

Nancy Geiger, director of the Gurwin Home Care Agency, recently accepted the Norma Recco Advocate of the Year Award from the Long Island Chapter of the New York State Association of Health Care Providers (NYSAHCP) for her outstanding contributions to public advocacy to advance home and community-based care. 

The award was first presented in 2011 to honor the memory of Norma Recco, a tireless advocate who advanced HCP from a local interest group to a statewide association, and who was the governor’s appointee to the New York State Home Care Council from 1987 to 1997.  

Currently the vice president of the Long Island Chapter of the NYSAHCP, Geiger has specialized in the home care agency field for more than 30 years. She joined Gurwin as director of the Gurwin Home Care Agency in 2007. Under her leadership, the Gurwin agency provides home health aides and companions for Long Islanders who are in need of compassionate care and support.  

“Nancy’s empathy for people is evident, whether she is advocating for her employees or her patients,” said Stuart B. Almer, president and CEO of the Gurwin Family of Healthcare Services. “She is committed to helping to get home care services to those who need them, and we are fortunate to have her leading our Gurwin Home Care Agency.”

Taryn Birkmire, executive director of Recco Home Care, presented Geiger with the award, applauding her for her years in the home care field, her work for the past six years for the chapter and her continued efforts in reaching out to legislators as well as her participation in advocacy events in Albany.  

“I am truly humbled to receive this award and be recognized in the name of Norma Recco,” said Geiger. “Norma was a true pioneer in the home care industry, and she overcame many obstacles back in the early days in the field. Unfortunately, our challenges have become even greater in recent years. Home care plays an important and vital role in the lives of many in our communities, and I am honored to be able to fight for people to continue to receive the services they need to keep them living safely at home.”

Lidl US and Best Market recently announced an agreement in which Lidl will acquire 27 Best Market stores in New York and New Jersey, including 24 on Long Island.

“Best Market has played an enormously positive role in the area, and we look forward to working closely with Best Market employees to build on that success,” said Johannes Fieber, CEO of Lidl US. “We are excited to expand into many great communities on Long Island and across the New York City area and introduce more customers to our simple and efficient approach to grocery shopping, which will mean high quality and huge savings for more shoppers.”

Best Market stores in our area include Selden, Commack, Lake Grove, Riverhead, East Patchogue, Huntington, Farmingdale and East Northport.

Lidl plans a step-by-step transition process that will begin next year and will involve the remodeling, reinvestment and reflagging of Best Market stores to converted Lidl stores. All Best Market employees in New Jersey and New York will have guaranteed employment opportunities with Lidl following the transition. Team members will be welcomed into positions with the Germany-based chain that offer wages and benefits that are equal to or better than what they earn with Best Market. The terms of the acquisition agreement are not disclosed, and it is expected to close over the coming months.

“Partnering with Lidl on this deal offers our employees a secure future with a growing grocer and continues the great tradition we started more than twenty years ago. We are delighted to be part of such a win-win and Best Market customers have something great to look forward to with Lidl,” said Aviv Raitses, co-owner of Best Market.

Compared to chains like Aldi and Trader Joe’s, Lidl stores have been proven to drive down prices for shoppers in areas where they open new stores. Earlier this year, a study from the University of North Carolina found that retailers in the immediate vicinity of Lidl stores dropped prices on individual products by as much as 55 percent on average in areas where Lidl operates.

Madison's Niche will be a part of the festivities on April 19.

Grand Openings Stroll

The Stony Brook Village Center, 111 Main Street, Stony Brook, in conjunction with The Three Village Chamber of Commerce, will present a Grand Openings Stroll on Thursday, April 19 (rescheduled) with a noon kickoff.

Five new businesses, beginning with Madison’s Niche (owner Karen McAvoy) at noon, Camera Concepts (owner Jeff Norwood) at 12:15 p.m., Cervo Design (owner Andrea Cervo) at 12:30 p.m., Village Florist (owner Amanda Haggquist) at 12:45 p.m. and ending with Sweet Mama’s Restaurant (owner Marios Patatinis) at 1 p.m., will celebrate their grand opening with a ribbon cutting. 

The community is invited to join Stony Brook Village Center President Gloria Rocchio; Chairman Richard Rugen; trustees and town officials including, Legislator Kara Hahn, Councilwoman Valerie Cartright; Supervisor Ed Romaine; and Andrew Polan, president, Three Village Chamber of Commerce in wishing all the businesses good luck in their new venture. 

The afternoon will conclude with free champagne and pub bites in Grandpa’s Shed Lounge located at the rear of Sweet Mama’s. For more information, call 631-751-2244 or visit www.stonybrookvillagecenter.com.

Animal Heath & Wellness of East Setauket celebrated the grand opening of its new location with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Nov. 18. The event was attended by Carmine Inserra of the Three Village Chamber of Commerce, Joan Nickeson of Councilwoman Valerie Cartright’s office (D-Port Jefferson Station), staff, patients and their owners.

From left, Carmine Inserra, Dr. Steven Templeton and Joan Nickeson

Nickeson presented Dr. Steven Templeton with a Certificate of Appreciation from the Town of Brookhaven which read, “It is with great pleasure that we congratulate you on the grand opening of your new enterprise. Our thanks for all your efforts in promoting economic development in Brookhaven Town. Best wishes for a successful and rewarding experience.”

The new office, which is located at 150 Main St., just north of the Setauket Presbyterian Church, offers many services for your pet including internal medicine and surgery, dental care, cancer treatments, laser therapy, alternative and herbal medicine as well as routine health exams and vaccinations.

Office hours are Monday from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m., Tuesday and Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, call 631-751-2200.

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