Best Market is set to open Wednesday at the former Waldbaum’s supermarket in Great Neck. The store is one of nine Waldbaum’s and Pathmark locations on Long Island bought by the chain from the bankrupt Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co.
Bethpage-based Best Yet Market Inc., a family-owned, nonunion outfit operating stores under the banner Best Market, will hold a “soft opening” at 10 a.m. of the renovated 43,000-square-foot store at 40 Great Neck Rd. A grand opening will take place Friday at noon.
“Many of the residents of the village relied on a supermarket within walking distance,” said Jonathan Sender, vice president of advertising and marketing for Best Market. “We answered that call.”
The Great Neck store will offer custom-cut meats, bakery items, craft beers, and ready-to-go dinners such as sushi, wood-smoked barbecue and fried chicken.
In addition to the Great Neck location, Best Market agreed to buy the leases of four other former Waldbaum’s, in Selden, Commack, Merrick and Westhampton Beach. It also bought the leases to four Pathmarks in Shirley, Islip, West Babylon and East Rockaway, paying $13 million for the nine stores.
The regional supermarket chain opened the Shirley store on Jan. 15 and the Commack store on Jan. 27.
“After some time cleaning, repairing and refurbishing these properties, we are expecting to open all of our new locations within the next six months,” Sender said. Best Market will then have 25 locations on Long Island.
As part of its lease purchase agreement, Best Market had agreed to make “good faith, best efforts” to hire at least 25 percent of each new store’s workforce from among displaced A&P union workers or offer them jobs at other locations.
The Great Neck store will have more than 90 employees. Best Market said it is looking to hire 1,250 to 1,500 full-time and part-time employees for the new stores.
All 51 Waldbaum’s and Pathmark stores on Long Island operated by A&P, which is in Chapter 11 bankruptcy, closed by November. Thirty were purchased by supermarket chains, 20 were turned over to their landlords, and one was sold to a real estate company.