Date: Fri 20-Feb-1998
Big Y Slates Opening For Feb. 26
BY ANDREW GOROSKO
Big Y Foods, Inc, of Springfield, Mass., will hold the grand opening
ceremonies for its new Big Y supermarket at Newtown Shopping Center on Queen
Street at 10 am on Thursday, February 26.
Rather than a traditional ribbon-cutting, the grand opening of the
54,000-square-foot supermarket will be marked by a cake-cutting ceremony.
More than 200 part-time and full-time employees have been hired for the
Newtown market so far, according to Donald D'Amour, Big Y's chief executive
officer. Applications are still being accepted, he said.
The supermarket will contain a food court, plus an eating area.
Rick Bossie will manage the new Big Y, which will be open Mondays through
Saturdays from 7 am to 11 pm, and Sundays from 7 am to 9 pm.
Big Y operates 42 supermarkets in Connecticut and central and western
Massachusetts. The local store will be the 20th store in the chain's "world
class market" format. The privately-owned chain was founded 62 years ago by
brothers Paul and Gerald D'Amour.
The long-awaited grand opening of the supermarket completes the main element
of Newtown Shopping Center's redevelopment. The shopping center had fallen on
hard times after the closing of the former A&P supermarket. The former A&P
building is being renovated for use as a CVS discount store and pharmacy. The
Big Y will be almost six times the size of the former A&P supermarket it
Big Y joins the Grand Union and the Super Stop & Shop as supermarkets in
Newtown. Unlike Grand Union and Super Stop & Shop, Big Y's labor force is not
Brian Petronella, a spokesman for the United Food and Commercial Workers labor
union, AFL-CIO, Local 371, said the union will stage an informational picket
on public property near Big Y to make its concerns about the non-unionized Big
Y chain known. Mr Petronella said it is unclear when that public protest will
Big Y officials dismiss the union's criticisms of the firm, saying their
stores are good places to work.
The Kasper Group, which owns the Big Y building, received Borough Zoning
Commission approval for the redevelopment project in January 1996. The project
encountered various delays. The Big Y initially was to have opened in December
1996. Construction started in April 1997.