Best Market is taking over where King Kullen left off in Syosset — and pushing forward with a plan to expand into Center Moriches, too.
In Syosset, Bethpage-based grocer Best Market has opened a store in a space formerly occupied by competitor King Kullen.
The new location, which opened Friday, is the only full-service grocery store in Syosset and will have 100 full- and part-time employees when it is fully staffed, Best Market vice president Or Raitses said.
The renovated 41,000-square-foot store, which opened last week in leased space at 271 Jericho Tpke., offers conventional, organic and locally produced items, Best Market said in a statement Tuesday.
The store has a sushi market, salad bar and hot “grab and go” foods, as well as produce, bakery, deli and meat departments.
It also has an expanded organic and plant-based food section that is the largest among those in Best Market’s 24 locations on Long Island, Raitses said.
“It’s a growing trend in the grocery industry, and we’re not that far from a very successful Whole Foods. We expanded that section in Syosset with the idea that we’re going to learn from it and then expand it to more stores on Long Island,” he said.
Best Market is the only full-service food retailer in the Syosset area because there’s been a vacuum created in part by Waldbaum’s and Pathmark stores closing under parent company Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co.'s bankruptcy, said retail expert Burt Flickinger III, who founded the Manhattan-based consulting firm Strategic Resource Group and has studied Long Island retail.
Bethpage-based King Kullen closed its Syosset store and a location in Commack in March 2017, saying the 20-year-old stores were underperforming. The chain now has 32 stores.
Best Market has 29 stores in New York State, New Jersey and Connecticut.
Best Market also is moving forward with plans to expand into Center Moriches, where it expects to open an approximately 40,000-square-foot store this summer, pending approval of building permits from Brookhaven, Raitses said.
The chain will renovate the Center Moriches space, which at one time was a Waldbaum’s owned by A&P, he said. One of the members of the Key Food cooperative purchased it as part of an A&P bankruptcy sale in 2015 and operated the store under the name Center Moriches Marketplace before closing in 2017.