Northern Liberties gets a supermarket

Produce manager Brady Kellem at the new Superfresh that will open Friday morning in Northern Liberties. August 24, 2011 (Sarah J. Glover / Staff Photographer) EDITOR'S NOTE: SUPER-C Dan Geringer story.
Produce manager Brady Kellem at the new Superfresh that will open Friday morning in Northern Liberties. August 24, 2011 (Sarah J. Glover / Staff Photographer) EDITOR'S NOTE: SUPER-C Dan Geringer story.
Posted: August 26, 2011

SINCE ITS 2010 groundbreaking, the 51,000-square-foot building at 2nd Street and Girard Avenue that was supposed to anchor the final piece of developer Bart Blatstein's Northern Liberties vision has remained empty.

It was a Northern Liberties dream deferred, possibly forever, especially after Pathmark's parent company, A&P, declared bankruptcy last winter.

But this morning, rebranded as a Superfresh and staffed by 120 area residents, the new supermarket opens - offering fresh seafood from the Philadelphia Fish Market, regionally raised poultry and beef, locally grown produce, an in-store bakery, and a pharmacy with patient counseling, immunizations and free home delivery.

"When we first looked at our real estate after we filed for bankruptcy, this was not a store we had a lot of optimism about opening," Sam Martin, A&P's CEO, told the Daily News. "Then I had a conversation with Mayor Nutter, and he gave me a vision for Northern Liberties that I hadn't thought about.

"When I looked at it through his eyes, I saw Northern Liberties and its neighboring communities without a supermarket. The mayor explained his Greenworks Philadelphia goal of making sure there's a local food source within 10 minutes of 75 percent of the city's residents. That was compelling."

Matthew Ruben, president of the Northern Liberties Neighbors Association board, said neighbors are thrilled.

"Most people in the community have wanted a supermarket here since the 1980's," he said. "We have speciality food stores, but we need a place you can get your paper towels, your canned goods, and the chicken you're going to make for dinner."

Wendell W. Young IV, president of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1776, said that it's rare to see companies open new stores in the middle of a bankruptcy.

"I'm thrilled to have our members be part of trying to help turn a company around that's had hard times lately," Young said.

comments powered by Disqus
|
|
|
|
|