May 24, 2012 at 11:07 AM
LIVINGSTON, NJ – There was a contagious enthusiasm today at the Kings Food Market store in Livingston, as the store commemorated its grand reopening for invited guests and customers.
“Everywhere you go, people are engaged in every part of the store,” remarked President and CEO of King Food Markets, Judy Spires.
Spires took The Alternative Press on a tour of the store, walking through the aisles, and different sections of the store.
“Isn’t it unbelievable?” she asked excitedly.
“There’s more frozen food, more dairy,” Spires continued, displaying a container of butter, infused with herbs.
She stopped to sample Michelbob’s smoked hickory wood ribs.
“These are the best,” raved Spires. “You don’t have to make your own.”
She turned to Michelbob’s Lou Bavaro and smiled. “You can say this is the favorite of the CEO.”
“My thing is our new tag line, ‘When Inspiration Strikes,’” Spires said.
She proudly pointed out the candy section (“It’s like being in a New York candy store.”), and the vendors lined up, with demos of tomato sauce, barbecue sauce, preserves, meats, and more (“What we love is our vendors’ enthusiasm.”).
She stopped by the deli area, boasting about the prepared chicken, fish, and meat selections, ready to be taken home and served.
“It’s all chef prepared,” Spires crowed.
The store had already sold 12 trays of salmon before 11am.
There was a stop to the yogurt bar, where customers can pick out fresh foods and other toppings. Right next to the yogurt is where clients can purchase freshly prepared pizza, cooked in less than two minutes in a special oven, heated by Vesuvius ash brick.
Next was a visit to the sushi chef, for some crisp shrimp tempura roll, the grain bar with Spiro’s favorite curried cauliflower (“This is out of this world.”), and an overview of the whole experience.
“You have everything you want here,” said Spires. “We brought the New York experience to the store.”
When complimented for her fervor, Spires credited her employees.
“The most important ingredient to our success is our people,” she said. “Their enthusiasm is what motivates me.”
Scott Zoeller, Senior Director of Deli Sales and Merchandising, continued on the tour, talking about the coffee bar, where the store brews eight coffee types daily, has assorted teas, serves syrups created with all natural cane sugar and not high fructose corn syrup, and smoothies.
“We’ve really found what we believe is barista quality,” said Zoeller. “We only use organic pods for our Espresso.”
Zoeller said the yogurt bar is the first yogurt parfait bar in the state. He said because yogurt is a portable source of a high-protein zero fat food, it has changed the way consumers eat.
Among the special guests today was Bill Zucosky, known executive chef of the Strip House at the Westminster Hotel in Livingston. Zucosky and his team prepared a Prime New York Strip Steak, marinated cherry tomatoes, and Cabernet infused red onion salad.
In the midst of the open house, Spires, employees, and local dignitaries celebrated with an official ribbon cutting, which, in traditional Kings Food Market fashion, was instead the cutting of a bunch of long homemade spaghetti strands. Mayor Stephen Santola, and Assemblyman John McKeon were among those who shared their remarks.
A portion of the proceeds for the day benefitted Community Hunger Outreach Warehouse (CHOW).
“Thanks to every member of the Kings family,” Spires said, showering General Store Manager Carole Bracaglia and her husband with a gift basket, since Bracaglia had worked at the store until midnight yesterday, on her wedding anniversary.
“If you shop in our store, any one of you can attest our associates are the best, and have a passion about food,” said Spires. “It’s our goal to bring you the best shopping experience every time you walk through that door.”
Kings Food Markets has 24 stores in New Jersey, and Long Island, New York.
Click here to access the Kings Food Markets website.