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Battaglia’s to the rescue

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With Met Supermarket upsetting Pelham Gardens residents by closing up shop to make room for a Walgreens drug store, one good neighbor is stepping up to help fill the void. 

Battaglia’s Meat Market, a fixture at 2503 Eastchester Road for the past 35-years, has agreed to expand into an empty location next door, the former site of Carousel Shoes. The expansion will more than double the size of the store, and provide grocery delivery service for area seniors.

In addition to its popular meat market, Battaglia’s will now offer fruit and vegetables, grocery and dairy departments, all at a central location, right across the street from Met Foods, which is expected to close its doors sometime this month.

“This expansion will allow us to sell more products,” said Frank Battaglia, the proprietor of the specialty store. “This is really needed because there will be no other supermarket in a one-square-mile radius. For good products at the correct price, people all over the area know Battaglia’s.”

Battaglia, which has its own sausage factory, and currently makes fresh mozzarella and roasts daily, will expand pre-made lunch and dinner specials as the store expands next door.

“A quarter of the space for the new store will include a kitchen area,” Battaglia noted. “We will have a 36-foot refrigerator case with vegetables in the new store, and an aisle for fruits. We will also offer home delivery for senior citizens in the area.”

In announcing the expansion, Councilman Jimmy Vacca was on hand on Tuesday, July 1 to present Battaglia with a certificate on behalf of the City Council, thanking him for his reinvestment in the community.

“I am awarding you this certificate because you are filling a community need,” Vacca told Battaglia. “I encourage people to patronize this store. We want to encourage mom and pop stores to stay in the community. Met wants to leave and sell out to a drug store, but that is their problem.”

Community Board 11 member Vinny Prezioso, who was praised for working tirelessly with Vacca’s office in an effort to save Met Foods so area seniors would have a place to shop, was thrilled with the announcement.

“The community is ecstatic about Battaglia’s Meat Market’s expansion,” Prezioso noted. “We petitioned Mr. Battaglia and he said he was thinking about growing his businesses before we even asked. This is a home run for us.”

The fact that Battaglia will offer home delivery of groceries is also a relief for homebound seniors, who might not have a delivery service with the departure of Met Foods.

“Battaglia’s expansion is going to help area seniors,” said Ann DiMarco, who was shopping at the market. “I have an 82-year-old tenant upstairs who calls Met to deliver him food. The community has supported Met for years. Now what would this elderly man do for groceries?”

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