A brand spanking new, 44,000-square-foot ShopRite will celebrate its grand opening this Sunday, April 17, in Lagrangeville; a 1 p.m. ribbon cutting will kick off the festivities. The megashop is located on the site of the old A&P grocery store, which shuttered its doors last November. The new full-service store has been completely renovated and is planning to offer a broad array of conventional and organic produce from around the corner — and around the world. In addition, shoppers can look forward to a bake shop featuring store-made special occasion cakes and boulangerie bread kneaded by hand daily; fresh meat cut to order; fresh seafood delivered daily; and an assortment of prepared foods and grab-and-go items, including fresh-made sushi. ShopRite is also touting the addition of 175 local jobs.
But I can’t help thinking that, just 30 miles away at the Stop & Shop on Route 9 in Rhinebeck, the news is outright glum with the countdown until that store — along with two others in New Paltz and Wappingers Falls — are set to close sometime in June, according to the active area grapevine. I admit it: I’m in a state of mourning. For more than five years now, I’ve visited my local Stop & Shop several times a week since I like to decide what’s for dinner — and even lunch — the same day (the way that Europeans and big-city folks usually do it). I’ve wandered the aisles on the look out for what’s new or tempting; Talenti Gelato’s sea salt caramel is a must-have. And I’ve come to love making chit-chat with favorite check-out clerks about the latest magazine headlines.
The store closings are said to be due to a merger with the company that also owns and operates several nearby Hannaford stores. But this big change for me has made me wonder why it is that supermarkets engender so much joy — and so much loyalty? I haven’t consulted a psychologist about this, but in any neighborhood, and especially a food-obsessed one like the Hudson Valley, it’s not really surprising. After all, shopping for food for our families and friends is about as elemental as it gets. No matter what else is going on in our lives, we need to shop and buy food supplies for ourselves and our loved ones. It’s no wonder we become so picky about everything from how the aisles are arranged to the inventory selection, pricing, and even whether the deli staff cuts fresh meats and cheeses to the right thickness or thinness, or if the broccoli slaw is crunchy enough. I’ve also grown used to running into area friends I might not see regularly; after all, shopping is a social activity, too.
But life goes on, and I’m already thinking about some of the free samples I’ll try this weekend at ShopRite. If you’d like to join me, the event takes place at 1643 Rte. 82 in Lagrangeville.