ADAMS, Mass. — It was a race to the finish but Russ Greenlaw had a promise to keep: open the newest Adam's Hometown Market by Friday.
"There was some thought that we weren't going to make it. There was no product and the place was a wreck so I pulled the team together," Greenlaw, vice president of operations, said on Wednesday. "I told them that I made a promise and that I was going to do everything in my power to get this market open and I am super proud of this team for accomplishing that."
After the Big Y suddenly closed in February, the Connecticut grocery chain swooped in to the rescue and in early March announced it had purchased the Myrtle Street property and planned to reopen the longtime grocery market that was a cornerstone in the community.
The target opening date was March 29 and Greenlaw said every store manager from the company was brought in as well as other resources to get the bulk of the work done in 2 1/2 weeks.
"I have never opened up a store in 18 days," he said. "Our objective was to get people back to work and get food back into the community."
The Big Y's history in the Mother Town dated back a century once it bought the local Adams Supermarket in the 1980s. The Myrtle Street store opened brand new in 1969, close to where founder Jacob Wineberg had opened his first butcher shop. Big Y officials said the store was too small for it to continue and had pledged to work with a grocer that could reopen it.
Greenlaw said when they first approached the town he heard town officials and the community's discontent over losing their only market loud and clear.
"When I first met with the Selectmen I heard it from them and from the customers. The hardship has been great," he said. "Day one, 149 people applied [for jobs] with another 80 online. It was incredible to see my team respond because we did not expect such a huge welcome … We had people back to work in less than a week."
Some 90 employees had been affected by the closure.
Greenlaw said they knew they had to move quickly but it did take the time to "freshen up" the market. He said the layout has been somewhat changed to accommodate more room in the front and in the back of the store.
"Fresh is what we are really about and we want to bring fresh food to people," he said. "So we opened this up to give the customer space to linger and shop. That has been a focus."
Greenlaw said they even went as far to reseal food storage and preparation areas to make sure the market is completely food safe.
They leaned heavily on former Big Y employees to help inform them what would be the best fit for Adams, he said.
"We brought in some feedback from the managers … we figured they know best," he said. "One of the things that is really unique about us is that we are very small so we like to behave very small. We want to carry what the community needs and fill that void."
The grocery will carry fresh and premade sandwiches and soup for those on the go. He said most of the prepared foods are made in-house.
"We make the things that we sell," he said. "We boil the potatoes in our potato salad. Bill the deli manager shared with me that he makes a wonderful ham salad so we are going to sell his ham salad."
Greenlaw said there will be giveaways during the grand opening on Friday morning for the first 200 customers as well as samples.
He said judging by the welcome the market has already received, he expects Friday to be a big morning.
"We have asked a couple of veterans to assist us with our first official flag raising and we will hear some words from town officials," he said. "I am going to spend some time thanking this community for the incredibly warm welcome and, hopefully, everyone is super excited."
Activities related to the opening begin at 8:30 a.m. on Friday morning; doors open at 9 a.m.
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You have it as "Adam's" market when I believe it's actually "Adams" with no apostrophe. Your editors can be forgiven for the oversight as the company misspells it on its own web site in some places.
Adam Bozzuto died in 2002 and his obituary only mentions that he operated a company called Bozzuto's Inc., a food wholesaler. I can't find much history on the Adam(')s market. Their logo has no apostrophe. All media uses I've seen besides yours have no apostrophe. It may be that originally the business had the apostrophe and then dropped it. It would be worth asking the company for clarification.
I contacted the company directly and the official spelling is Adams Hometown Market without an apostrophe. It may have at one time been called Adam's, but no longer. You should use the correct spelling going forward.
Poseidon Coffee Looking to Open at Adams Visitors Center
By Gregory FournieriBerkshires Correspondent
ADAMS, Mass. — Todd Fiorentino of Pittsfield's Poseidon Coffee kiosk is planning to move to Adams.
He is hoping to operate a coffeee kiosk on the side of the Visitors Center, abutting the Ashuwillticook Rail Trail. Fiorentino wants to sell coffees for around $2, and will likely be open during the spring, summer, and fall from morning until the early afternoon.
Fiorentino told the Selectmen, sitting as the licensing subcommittee, last week that he wants to obtain a seasonal liquor license in order to sell Irish coffees and other similar beverages, especially during outdoor events held at the Visitors Center.
"The idea with the liquor license was really to help in terms of long-term sustainability of the company," he said,point out that "liquor just has a higher profit margin."
Vice Chairwoman Christine Hoyt and Selectman Richard Blanchard questioned Fior and Town Administrator Jay Green, as well as Town Counsel Edmund St. John III, about the particularities of the liquor license. They wanted to know, for instance, if selling alcoholic beverages out in the open would pose a problem to town safety, among other things.
While brainstorming ways to deal with the issue, Fiorentino said that he could "create a designated area, possibly with … retractable tape," to keep customers with alcoholic beverages contained in that space.
If need be, Fiorentino said he would be willing to open the kiosk without the liquor license and only sell coffee at first, but he wants to get this squared away so that he can expand and sell local, craft alcoholic beverages along with the local coffee.
The Fire Department will hold a virtual meeting to go over some findings from the recent Organizational Assessment and Strategic Plan that could inform some changes within the Fire District. click for more
Cariddi owned and operated Cariddi Auto in North Adams from 1982 until June of this year. He sold it to Hampshire Towing and, in order to stay busy during his retirement, opened a retail store in the heart of the Mother Town.
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Five Berkshire communities have received more than a half-million in state grants this week for streetscape improvements, including a $28,000 grant to Williamstown to turn a downtown street into a parklet. click for more