Stop & Shop sets up shop amid Pathmark closures

Stop & Shop store manager Gary Douglas (c) cuts a ribbon on the new store at Castle Center, joined by Kevin Conrad, company district director; Jay Cohen, Stop & Shop marketing manager; and Silvana Fiorenza, pharmacist and store employees.
Photo by Edwin Soto

Stop & Shop has quickly filled the void created by the demise of one of America’s greatest and oldest supermarket chains.

A&P, the parent company to Pathmark, currently liquidating its assets due to bankruptcy, has shuttered its last three remaining Bronx stores.

Stop & Shop, a 400-plus chain supermarket powerhouse, will be re-opening the locations in Co-op City, Crotona Park East and Morris Park/Westchester Square.

The fourth Bronx Pathmark, located in Soundview, has already been converted to a Western Beef store.

At 1720 Eastchester Road at Waters Place, where a ribbon cutting ceremony was held on Friday, October 23, crews worked around the clock for a week to completely revamp the store, confirmed Jeremy Warneke, Community Board 11 district manager.

“The community is really excited,” said Jay Cohn, Stop & Shop spokesman. “They are saying thank goodness that Stop & Shop is here because they were concerned that they might not have a supermarket.”

The new location in the chain will feature Western Union services, a pharmacy, and a healthy food line called Nature’s Promise.

In addition to this location, new Stop & Shop stores will be opening in the Bay Plaza Shopping Center at 2136 Bartow Avenue and 961 East 174th Street at the New Horizons Shopping Center, which has already re-opened.

On the first day that the Eastchester Road location was open, customer Bob Cook of the Westchester Square community said that there was not a great deal of concern in the local community when news broke that Pathmark was being closed because Stop & Shop was coming to the location.

The store is located in the Castle Center mall.

Cook said that the location looked beautiful on its first day.

(l-r) Jay Cohen (far right) of Stop and Shop presents a $2,000 donation to Lizette Hernandez, director of the Challenger League for Bronxchester Little League and to Carlos Polanco, Bronxchester Little League commissioner.
Photo by Edwin Soto

Two of his neighbors worked at the Pathmark Castle Center for years, and have continued on at the new Stop & Shop.

“We always had (a supermarket) in the area, and Stop & Shop is a good company,” said Cook. “I am glad to see they kept some of the old employees – that’s important.”

Shopper and Morris Park resident Ben Bonilla who was a patron of Pathmark for over 30 years, said he was glad that Stop & Shop would be coming to the shopping center because of its convenient parking.

“You really don’t want to see change, but I know of Stop & Shop, and they have an excellent record,” he said.

“I am happy that they are interesting in helping the community get better products,” he added.

Councilman James Vacca said that he was glad that Stop & Shop chose to set up shop in his district, and said that he admired an existing location in Co-op City that predates the company’s acquisition of the Pathmark in that community.

At the previous Pathmark location, he noted that there had been some complaints of panhandling and security issues.

“Pathmark was really in decline for a number of years,” said Vacca, adding “People in my community deserve better.”

It appears as if the new owners are giving back to the community.

At the opening in Morris Park, Stop & Shop donated $2,000 to the Bronxchester Little League.

At the previous opening in Crotona Park East on Friday, October 16, a donation was made to the St. Edmund’s Food Pantry.

Jay Cohen, Stop & Shop marketing manager, points to a sign promoting a policy of lower prices on many of the items previously found at Pathmark.
Photo by Edwin Soto

Reach Reporter Patrick Rocchio at (718) 260–4597. E-mail him at procchio@cnglocal.com. Follow him on Twitter @patrickfrocchio.

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