Pining for a supermarket, Lawnside is about to get one

July 23, 2012: The White Horse sign on the White Horse Pike in Lawnside. TOM GRALISH / Staff Photographer
July 23, 2012: The White Horse sign on the White Horse Pike in Lawnside. TOM GRALISH / Staff Photographer
Posted: April 18, 2013

Inside Oscar's Personal Touch Barbershop in Lawnside, enthusiasm was building Tuesday afternoon about a soon-to-open supermarket.

"I personally think it's a big deal," said Taj Enlow, kicking off a conversation among several men about what they hoped the new store would offer: variety, good sales, fresh seafood.

None of those have been readily available for Lawnside residents since a longtime Pathmark shut down a year ago, forcing people to drive or take the bus farther from home to shop for groceries.

Their predicament is about to end, with a 56,000-square-foot ShopRite set to occupy the space where the Pathmark once stood, in the Lawnside Shopping Center off White Horse Pike.

A groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday announced the store's planned summer opening, with a billboard and "Now Hiring" signs also broadcasting the news.

"We are waiting, waiting, waiting," a woman said of the new supermarket as she walked near the shopping center Tuesday, declining to give her name.

When Pathmark closed last April, residents in Lawnside, a historically African American borough of 3,000 people, and neighboring communities along White Horse Pike said they were forced to seek out less convenient or desirable options.

While some began shopping at the Walmart up the road in Somerdale, "there's a lot of people who don't have transportation," Enlow said.

"Older folks have to take the bus down to Walmart," said Aaron Kirkland, also in the barbershop. He and Enlow said ShopRite's arrival would benefit those residents in particular.

Hiring is under way next door to the planned new store, which will bring more than 200 jobs, said Santina Stankevich, a spokeswoman for ShopRite.

Owned by David and Renee Zallie, the new store will have meats cut to order from its smokehouse and a cafe with wireless Internet access.

It will also have a pharmacy and in-store dietitian, Stankevich said.

She said the Pathmark space would be "completely renovated" - incorporating energy-saving features - before ShopRite opens.

She didn't specify a date, but shoppers leaving the nearby Home Depot and PetSmart stores said it couldn't come soon enough.

"There's really nothing here," said Bronya Riches of Magnolia, who used to shop at Pathmark and now goes to Walmart or the ShopRite in Brooklawn, about five miles away from the Lawnside Shopping Center.

She expects to be a regular at the new ShopRite: "It's easier to get my kids in the car and go five minutes up the road" than being "hassled by a lot of stuff I don't need at Walmart," she said.

Contact Maddie Hanna at 856-779-3232,, or on Twitter @maddiehanna.

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