Date: Fri 20-Feb-1998

Date: Fri 20-Feb-1998

Publication: Bee

Author: ANDYG

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Big Y Slates Opening For Feb. 26


Big Y Foods, Inc, of Springfield, Mass., will hold the grand opening

ceremonies for its new Big Y supermarket at Newtown Shopping Center on Queen

Street at 10 am on Thursday, February 26.

Rather than a traditional ribbon-cutting, the grand opening of the

54,000-square-foot supermarket will be marked by a cake-cutting ceremony.

More than 200 part-time and full-time employees have been hired for the

Newtown market so far, according to Donald D'Amour, Big Y's chief executive

officer. Applications are still being accepted, he said.

The supermarket will contain a food court, plus an eating area.

Rick Bossie will manage the new Big Y, which will be open Mondays through

Saturdays from 7 am to 11 pm, and Sundays from 7 am to 9 pm.

Big Y operates 42 supermarkets in Connecticut and central and western

Massachusetts. The local store will be the 20th store in the chain's "world

class market" format. The privately-owned chain was founded 62 years ago by

brothers Paul and Gerald D'Amour.

The long-awaited grand opening of the supermarket completes the main element

of Newtown Shopping Center's redevelopment. The shopping center had fallen on

hard times after the closing of the former A&P supermarket. The former A&P

building is being renovated for use as a CVS discount store and pharmacy. The

Big Y will be almost six times the size of the former A&P supermarket it


Big Y joins the Grand Union and the Super Stop & Shop as supermarkets in

Newtown. Unlike Grand Union and Super Stop & Shop, Big Y's labor force is not


Brian Petronella, a spokesman for the United Food and Commercial Workers labor

union, AFL-CIO, Local 371, said the union will stage an informational picket

on public property near Big Y to make its concerns about the non-unionized Big

Y chain known. Mr Petronella said it is unclear when that public protest will

take place.

Big Y officials dismiss the union's criticisms of the firm, saying their

stores are good places to work.

The Kasper Group, which owns the Big Y building, received Borough Zoning

Commission approval for the redevelopment project in January 1996. The project

encountered various delays. The Big Y initially was to have opened in December

1996. Construction started in April 1997.