SPARTA, NJ- It was part parade, part carnival on Wednesday morning in North Village for the grand opening of the new Shoprite.
On Wednesday morning shoppers gathering more than an hour before the doors opened. The Sparta High School Marching Spartans band and color guard performed several numbers under the direction of Deborah Gianuzzi.
Members of the Sparta VFW Post 7248 raised the “largest American flag” in Sussex County, according to David Romano co-owner of the Sparta store, while the marching band played “America the Beautiful.” This was followed by the Pledge of Allegiance and a prayer from Fr. Brian Sullivan. The band concluded with the National Anthem.
Romano shared a family saying, with family members and employees joining in, “We live here, we work, we give here.”
With a drone flying overhead, recording the ceremony, Romano welcomed the awaiting shoppers, invited dignitaries and introduced his family. His uncle Pat and father Dominick V who was there, started the business in 1927. His brother Dominick J or “DJ” was also at the opening.
Romano said some of the unique offerings patrons will find include a selection of freshly prepared Asian food, a large fresh seafood shop and pizzas prepared to order in their wood fired pizza oven. “It only takes two minutes to bake,” he said.
Drawings for Shoprite gift cards will happen throughout the day all week according to the store manager. Romano told the crowd to bring the children to enjoy the Ferris wheel that is in the parking lot all week.
The Dykstra family got the first receipt of the new store: they bought an orchid and some M & M’s. Senator Steve Oroho was the first to use the self check out kiosks. He purchased a number of things from the seafood section.
Invited guests lined up at the ribbon, many with scissors to participate in the ribbon cutting. The ribbon cutters included:
- Senator Steve Oroho,
- Assemblyman Hal Wirths,
- Sparta Mayor Molly Whilesmith,
- Sparta Councilman Jerry Murphy,
- Sussex County Freeholder Josh Hertzberg,
- Sussex County Freeholder Herbert Yardley,
- Sussex Chamber of Commerce President Tammy Horsfield.
- Owen Dykstra, Doug Dykstra and Mark Darsky of Dykstra Engineering,
Sparta is the eighth RoNetco Shoprite. The also operate stores Byram, Flanders, Franklin, Mansfield, Netcong, Newton and Succasunna. At the Sparta store they have hired more than 200 people and are still looking to hire employees for a variety of positions according to the store manager.
Romano remained outside the store energetically and enthusiastically greeting customers as they came to the door for more than an hour.