A new grocery store has the power to truly impact a community; there’s no doubt that access to a great grocery store can make a neighborhood. And Bethlehem is about to get a major boost with the opening of the new ShopRite of Bethlehem.
On July 30th, ShopRite of Bethlehem is opening their doors with an official ribbon cutting ceremony, a sweet reward for many loyal Lehigh Valley customers who would make the commute across the Delaware River to access ShopRite of Greenwich Township. They now will get to access their very own, brand new ShopRite in their own backyard, after more than 13 years of the popular grocery store’s absence in the central Lehigh Valley region.
While many locals are familiar with the trusted ShopRite name, they may be surprised to learn that their grocery stores are, in fact, fueled by small, locally-owned businesses. The new ShopRite of Bethlehem will be under ownership of the highly experienced Colalillo family.
Joseph Colalillo is a second-generation owner of the family-run ShopRite of Hunterdon County, which started in Flemington in 1958. They’ve recently been able to expand their operations to meet the needs of the customers they often saw crossing the river, first in Bucks County in 2014 and now in the Lehigh Valley in 2015.
For over a half of a century, ShopRite of Hunterdon County has fueled our neighbors in Hunterdon & Warren Counties- providing the highest quality goods, employing thousands of locals, and always acting as responsible member of their communities. From hospitals to little leagues to schools and everything else in between, ShopRite of Hunterdon County works to enhance the quality of life in their own backyard by directly working with local organizations and families in need.
But how does a family-run business operate with all the added value of a big box grocery store?
ShopRite is part of the Wakefern Food Corp, a retailer-owned cooperative that allows local grocers to access all the advantages of a big corporation without really being one. Instead, the owners can remain focused on what really counts- the food, the people, and the community. Working together, members are able to stay competitive while still retaining the local authenticity that creates a truly great grocery store experience. In fact, 95% of Wakefern’s members live in the communities they serve. It’s no surprise that this unique model has propelled Wakefern to become the largest retail cooperative in the United States.
The same family behind the successful ShopRite stores in Hunterdon and Warren Counties is now set to open a state-of-the art grocery store in Bethlehem, encompasses the latest in technology – including a number of sustainable, energy-efficient components like LED lights and composting – as well as the service expertise that can only gained by over 50 years of local experience. Those services include an on-site registered dietitian to ensure local wellness needs are being met, fresh-made products like homemade mozzarella and aged Vermont Cheddar cheese sourced specifically by ShopRite, interactive events like cooking classes and sampling demonstrations, on-site child care services, and even a drive-through pharmacy!
One of the most exciting new features of ShopRite of Bethlehem is their in-store cafe, which will offer seating for more than 60 people, and provide a wide variety of prepared foods including a hot bar, sushi, grill to order, and take out options.
ShopRite of Bethlehem is committed to being an active member of their community, to listening to the needs of locals and featuring local products. One product that the Lehigh Valley is no doubt passionate about is their craft beer, and that’s why ShopRite of Bethlehem is opening with a comprehensive craft beer selection with plans to host events with local distributors and breweries.
Great products, excellent service, and community interaction are all core components in the ShopRite formula, but the top priority for Joe is communicating with the community – getting YOUR direct feedback about their store.
“Our business isn’t about food. It’s about people.”
– Joseph Colalillo, President, ShopRite of Hunterdon County
Customer panels, open dialogue with employees at the store, conversation on their Facebook page, and even directly emailing Joe himself is highly encouraged. Have a special request? ShopRite wants to hear about it. Listening to the needs of the community has allowed ShopRite to meet customers’ needs and stay ahead of major industry trends. For example, ShopRite of Hunterdon County installed self check-out registers over a decade before they became a standard feature at major grocery stores. Daycare services are available to busy parents as they shop. A dietitian is on staff to ensure that everyone in the community can learn about and access a healthy diet. And in today’s busy world, they’ve made sure that their online shopping and delivery is not only simple, but offers the same prices as in-store shopping. Basically, if you want it, they want to hear about.
The wait is almost over! ShopRite of Bethlehem officially opens on Thursday, July 30th, 2015 at 10am, and the community is invited to come celebrate their brand new, state-of-the-art grocery store.