Citarella Gourmet Market
Owner: Joe Gurrera
Location: 600 W Putnam Ave, Greenwich, CT
Photographed: May 2019
Our final Connecticut store is this 22,000 square foot gourmet market near the New York border. We've previously seen a Citarella, although that was a much smaller store on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.
This former office building (with attached parking garage) has become Citarella on the upper level, which is grade-level for Putnam Avenue; the lower level, which is grade-level in the back, is multiple smaller businesses. It's an impressive gourmet grocery store with attached liquor store, and I think I visited at an off-peak time because it was empty. There are kind of two "aisles" here, with the second extending farther back than the first as a dead-end -- think the letter h. Produce and deli are in the front half of the first and meat/seafood in the back part; the second aisle has bakery and prepared foods on the other side of the deli island, with juice and soup bars and single-serve drinks in the front; the back is grocery, dairy, and frozen.
As we'll see, this is a very different experience from most traditional supermarkets. I must say, I'm not typically a big fan of these super-high end gourmet markets but if I have to shop at one, it's gonna be this one.
Looking back up towards the entrance. There's a lot of open space in the store, which in a store like this isn't a bad thing.
Packaged deli/meat along the right side wall of the store, with service butcher on the right side wall behind it. And we can really see how much space there is here!
Service deli facing that case in an island.
Beautiful butcher counter, with a serious seafood counter on the back wall (it looks like they might've been winding down for the day).
The second "aisle" is bakery and prepared foods, shown here from the back...
The back corner is grocery/dairy/frozen.
A surprisingly badly-stocked dairy case.
Frozen foods on the back wall.
Grocery aisles are on movable shelving, like we saw in Balducci's in Westport.
Small cheese case at the back of the service island, with bakery in the middle. I'm assuming Citarella does bake in-store, but the actual bakery isn't behind the counter as it typically is. This probably is designed so that the island can be looked across completely to preserve the sightlines from one side to the other.
Bread and pizza are next. There is a pizza oven here but (having never actually planned a commercial kitchen), you don't bake cakes and so on in a pizza oven, and you'd need a designated prep area separate from the pizza area. So I'm assuming the baking is done in backroom areas.
Self-service prepared foods bars run along the other side of the aisle. We can also see something we never see in other supermarkets -- empty wall space! I'd assume the focus here is not packing in as much merchandise as physically possible.
Soup, coffee, and juice bars with single-serve beverages in the front here. If you turn left at the front of this aisle, you get to the registers...
...and if you turned right, you'd get to the cafe with the liquor store on the other side. I don't remember whether there's an entrance to the liquor store from the cafe or if you have to go outside.
That wraps up Connecticut for us! Now for the big announcement... tomorrow is The Market Report's four-year anniversary. We'll have lots of special features so come back and check it out!