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Showing posts from March, 2024

TOUR: LaBonne's Market - Watertown, CT

LaBonne's Market Owner: Bob LaBonne Opened: unknown Cooperative:  IGA Location:  639 Straits Tpk, Watertown, CT Photographed:  July 9, 2021 We've seen some excellent independents around Connecticut so far, and today's tour is no exception. The four-store LaBonne's Market chain runs higher-end but complete supermarkets with lots of specialty items but not crazy high prices. Like so many other stores in this area, they are IGA-affiliated and supplied by Bozzuto's -- whose home base is in Cheshire, just about ten miles from this store. We enter the 30,000 square foot store on the left side to produce in the left part of the grand aisle. It opens up to prepared foods up next, with a sushi island in the middle of the grand aisle and the rest at the back. The salad bar we see here was closed not permanently, but due to the coronavirus when I visited. The deli is at the back of the grand aisle with meat and seafood taking up the rest of the back wall. Dairy and frozen ar

TOUR: Sunny Ridge Supermarket - Bethlehem, CT

Sunny Ridge Supermarket Owner: Steven Meehan Jr. Open:  1966-2023 Cooperative:  none Location:  82 Main St S, Bethlehem, CT Photographed:  July 9, 2021 We've seen (and will continue to see) quite a few very well-run independent stores that seem to be doing very well in Connecticut. Unfortunately, some are definitely less successful. We're here at the Sunny Ridge Supermarket in Bethlehem, CT, about 30 miles southwest of Hartford and 10 miles northwest of Waterbury, which closed shortly after I visited. The supermarket was about 8000 square feet and also had a small gas station attached until around 2010. The store finally went under in the first half of 2023, and we can see it vacant in an August 2023 street view . When I visited in the summer of 2021, the store was definitely struggling but I didn't think it was about to close. You entered around the middle of the storefront, then turn right to enter produce in the front right corner of the store. Dairy lined the first ais

TOUR: Washington Food Market - Washington, CT

Washington Food Market Owner: George Verrastro Opened:  1973 Cooperative:  IGA Location:  5 Bryan Hall Plz, Washington, CT Photographed:  July 9, 2021 This store definitely doesn't look like your average supermarket! This store of around 9,000 square feet is located on the downtown stretch of Washington, CT, a small town of around 3600. The town was largely destroyed in a 1955 flood , then rebuilt in a similar setup. The main businesses are located mostly on Bryan Hall Plaza , a somewhat strange almost dead-end main street with businesses only on one side and the town hall's large property on the other. This IGA-affiliated independent opened in 1973, but I'm not sure if there was previously another supermarket here. Inside, it's pristine but wonderfully original -- possibly some parts even to the store's 1973 opening. Produce is in the front part of the first aisle, with chips and beverages in the back part. Dairy runs across the back wall, with deli in the back le

TOUR: The Market CT - Northville, CT

The Market CT / Northville Market Owner: David Brenner Opened:  1998 under current ownership Cooperative:  IGA Location:  301 Litchfield Rd, Northville, CT Photographed:  July 9, 2021 Produce lines the first aisle, with deli, bakery, and meats on the back wall. Dairy and frozen are in the last aisle, with bread in an alcove in the front corner... I think. That's the one part of the store's layout that I just can't remember for sure. Today's store kind of has two names, as it's co-branded with The Market CT and its legacy name, Northville Market. It's in the Northville section of New Milford, CT, and became The Market CT around 2014 or so. The Market CT also owns  another IGA in Bantam , previously the  Big Value IGA . I actually remember going there right around the time it switched over from Big Value to Bantam Market (and then it switched to The Market CT more recently), but that was before I was photographing stores. This 14,000 square foot store has been aro