In a move that will make many Orange residents who are unhappy with traveling to other towns for groceries thrilled, First Selectman Jim Zeoli announced on Sept. 14 that ShopRite supermarket will be moving into the old Stop & Shop digs at 259 Bull Hill Lane in Orange.
The property was leased by Harry Garafalo, owner of ShopRite stores in Milford, East Haven, Hamden and Stratford. Garafalo’s family business is part of the Wakefern Foods Cooperative. The Proto Group of North Haven was broker in the deal.
Garafalo’s company is in the process of building a new 86,000 square-foot location in Milford where the Showcase Cinemas sat between Cherry Street and Route 1.The current Milford Shop Rite was built 22 years ago and has doubled its full-time and part-time associates to 220. The new Milford store will add another 30-40 jobs.
Zeoli anticipates several hundred jobs will become available when the Orange location opens. “They’ll be looking for cashiers, maintenance people, custodians, meat cutters, and many other positions.”
“This is huge. It fills a void that many residents have been expressing frustrations with,” Zeoli said. “We’ve been working for over one year with Proto and others to make this become a reality. It will be good for the community and the surrounding region.”
Zeoli said the town has been soliciting a variety of grocery stores for the past 20 months since Stop & Shop closed in January 2014.
“We are all excited about this addition to town. It is one of those amenities that is needed,” he said.
At press-time, an opening date had not been chosen, though Zeoli anticipates the design phase will take several months.
By Melissa Nicefaro – Orange Town News Correspondent