Food & Drink

Vine Ripe to Open in Westfield in Fall

430 North Ave., future site of Vine Ripe Markets, a specialty grocery store expected to open this fall. Credits: Jill D'Ambrosio

WESTFIELD, NJ – This fall, the area will get a new specialty grocery store featuring international cheeses, organic produce, fresh-baked breads and more when Vine Ripe Markets opens at 430 North Ave. East.

Frank Bruno, one of four partners from Staten Island who will own Vine Ripe, anticipates starting construction in the next few weeks with the hopes of opening in September or October. Interior demolition on the 9,300 square foot space has already been completed.

Vine Ripe will also offer customers fresh meats and seafood along with microwave-ready dishes plus seasonal items such as flowers, pumpkins and holiday greenery. It will also have a catering service, Bruno said.

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Bruno is eager to bring Vine Ripe to Westfield. He and his wife drove to town to see the area and have dinner at Chez Catherine when considering opening a business here.

“I feel it’s a town that’s yearning for the type of food we offer – good food, good prices,” he said.

In 2014, Pastosa Ravioli of Brooklyn opened an outpost on South Avenue East in Cranford where it offers fresh pasta, homemade sauce and other Italian staples. Bruno said he believes that Vine Ripe will differ from Pastosa because it’s “a more rounded specialty store.”

“We’ve done a lot of research. This is a lot of time in the making. We’re very excited to come out here,” Bruno said.

Bruno, a 32 year-old father of three young children, currently runs a specialty market on Staten Island that is unaffiliated with his new venture.

“I’m a foodie. I cook at home,” he said. “My wife’s a fantastic cook. I get a lot of ideas from her.”

Bruno and his partners are working on a Facebook page for the new store and will eventually begin looking for employees. They hope to hire locally.

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