WALL TOWNSHIP — At long last, the new Belmar Saker ShopRite on Route 35 opened its doors to the public with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Wednesday morning.
Scores of people waited in line, some beginning as early as 5:30 in the morning, to be the first to enter the new 71,500-square-foot grocery store that has been under construction for over a year.
The older ShopRite, located diagonally across Route 35, closed on Tuesday night.
Richard Saker, owner of Saker ShopRites, was present to greet the new store’s first customers. Saker ShopRites operates 32 supermarkets in New Jersey, including a second store in Wall Township on Route 34.
“After 58 years of serving the community across the street, we want to thank you for your loyal patronage over all these years, and it’s because of you that this store is possible, this brand new, modern market …” Mr. Saker said just before letting the first customers through the doors.
“So thank you for coming this morning and please enjoy the store.”
Debbie Fesco, of Eatontown, was the first in line and had been there for over an hour before the grand opening at 7 a.m. and said she is a longtime fan of ShopRite.
“I love ShopRite and just wanted to see this new one and get a wonderful little shop in today,” she told The Coast Star. “They have good deals all the time, and they have lots of other items that you can purchase, too.”
Ms. Fesco said the store would be a nice change from the store across the highway that she described as “older, outdated.”
Gavin McGrath, of Spring Lake Heights, was also one of the first in line, on his birthday nonetheless.
“Where else would you rather spend your birthday?” he joked.
Mr. McGrath said he and his wife said goodbye to the old ShopRite last night, and wanted to come say hello to the new one this morning. Like many, he said he felt it was a long wait for the store to open but was happy to finally see it happen.
“We were in and out of that [old] ShopRite all the time, and we loved all the people there. It’s a great place. We were really excited to see it open,” he said.
The new store features a bakery, meat department, seafood department, nutrition center, florist, a full deli and a produce department with organic and local produce.
Additionally, there is a pharmacy, catering department and pickup and delivery services.
It also has a selection of 1,000 “grab-and-go” meals, including options for gluten-free and organic products, ShopRite said in a statement. The store will also feature products from ShopRite’s store brands Bowl and Basket, Paperbird and Wholesome Pantry.
The company said it will also stock local favorites, including Jones Bars [made in Manasquan], No Whey Vegan Chocolates [Lakewood] and plants from local farms such as Louis Davino Greenhouses [Millstone].
The new store will employ approximately 320 people, according to a statement. The store is still hiring, and those interested can apply in-store or on the company’s website.
Hours will be seven days a week from 6 a.m. to midnight.
Wall Township Committee members Kevin Orender, Erin Mangan and Deputy Mayor Daniel Becht were all present for the grand opening.
Mr. Becht said the store opening is great news for the people of North Wall, who now have a ShopRite comparable in size to South Wall’s ShopRite.
“Now the folks of North Wall are as fortunate as those in South Wall to have a state-of-the art super ShopRite.
“It offers [people] a lot more choices as to what they can purchase, and it’s a much better facility than the existing ShopRite across the street,” he said.
Subscribe today! If you're not already an annual subscriber to The Coast Star, get your subscription today! For just $34 per year, you will receive local mail delivery weekly, with pages and pages of local news and online access to our e-edition on Starnewsgroup.com.–>