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For the first time since Big Y opened its location in Manchester, Conn. in 1996, the store has undergone a total renovation that began last August and includes upgrades in every department, including new fixtures, new flooring and newly painted walls.
All of the stores’ fresh food departments have undergone significant changes, most notably in their meals to go, delicatessen, seafood, bakery, meat, floral, and produce departments. There is also a new gluten free section, more bulk foods and more ethnic products from several areas around the world including Latino and Polish items.
Big Y's Manchester grand opening festivities will include a cake cutting ceremony and complimentary coffee, along with costumed characters such as Tony the Tiger and Mr. Peanut. There will also be a "Meet the Managers" event hosted by store director Don Yensen. A 23-year Big Y veteran, Yensen began his career in the deli department before moving on to the meat department, where he later became manager. He was later promoted to a meat merchandiser for several Big Y stores before entering the Springfield, Mass.-based retailer’s leadership development program for store directors.
Highlights of the newly renovated store include:
- A full-service floral department and in-store café and international food court featuring home cooked meals such as hand tossed pizza, a full-service Grinder Shoppe, fried chicken, grilled chicken, and BBQ spare ribs.
- A full-service seafood department offering more than 100 varieties of fresh fish from New England piers staffed with certified seafood handlers that can also help with preparation tips, recipes and suggestions.
- International delicatessen, where all meats and cheeses are sliced to order, along with a wide variety of cheeses from around the world and an olive and antipasti bar with a dozen varieties of imported olives, fresh mozzarella balls and crumbled feta cheese, roasted red peppers and stuffed grape leaves.
- A full in-store bakery with on-site cake decorators and a full selection of almost 35 varieties of “Just Enough” single serve desserts and "The Finest in New England” pies featuring fruit from Middlefield, Conn.-based Lyman Orchards.
- An extensive meat department featuring all natural USDA Choice Angus beef, as well as Hormel Always Tender Pork, USDA Choice American veal and lamb and air-chilled Smart Chicken. In addition to custom selecting and cutting meats, experienced butchers will assist with cooking suggestions and preparation tips such as carving secrets for roasts and home grilling basics.
- A wide assortment of organic products, such as milks eggs, along with all natural cereals, chips and salsa; over 60 types of organic baby foods; 250 Full Circle organic items; fair trade coffees and teas and rice from around the world; eco-friendly paper and cleaning products; and over 100 new organic frozen foods and HBW items.
- The 16 extra-wide grocery aisles will not only stock items typically found in a modern supermarket, but will also carry specialty foods from such regions as Asia, Europe, Canada, Portugal and the Middle East. Plus, Mario Batali’s cooking utensils, Farberware Pro, KitchenAid, Wilton and culinary masterpiece items are in stock in the baking aisle.
As one of the largest independently owned supermarket chains in New England, Big Y operates 64 locations throughout Connecticut and Massachusetts and employs over 10,000 associates.