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Green Way Market opens first location in the Garden State

By
John Groh

RIDGEWOOD, NJ – Green Way Market opened its first location in New Jersey on Friday, Feb. 19, with the goal of meeting the increasing demand for organic and natural foods in this upscale enclave in the northern part of the state. The retailer currently operates one additional store in Cross River, NY, in Westchester County.

The fact that the soft opening occurred on a day when the second snow storm in as many weeks was still causing problems in the area was not a factor, as it allowed officials at Green Way and Allegiance Retail Services an opportunity to open at a comfortable pace following a quick turnaround after converting a former King’s Food Market location into the new banner.

Dean Holmquist, vice president of store operations for Allegiance, the cooperative that operates Green Way and other supermarket banners in the tri-state area, said King’s closed for business at the end of the day on Monday, Feb. 15, and the financial closing of the transaction occurred on Feb. 16, meaning store officials had less than three days to prepare for the opening.

“Robin Estevez [owner of Green Way] and everyone on the staff did a great job with getting the store ready to go,” said Holmquist. “Ridgewood is a perfect location for our concept, and we are very excited to bring the quality organic and natural foods that Green Way is known for to this area.”

Speaking about the importance of the produce program at Green Way, Holmquist further elaborated, saying that while produce is critical at all of the locations Allegiance operates, it is especially true at Green Way, where the focus is on healthy organic and natural foods.

Kelly Davis, director of produce and floral for Allegiance, said Green Way is planning to expand its line of organic SKUs and is working to partner with key organic suppliers.

“We’ll be looking to emphasize our seasonal commodities on a monthly basis and promote them with in-store signage,” she said.

Holmquist added, “Citrus is a perfect example of how we are doing this. Different citrus varieties have quick windows of availability, and we’re promoting those with signage in the store to help educate our customers.”

Green Way is situated one block from a Stop & Shop location and less than half a mile from a Whole Foods, meaning there is no shortage of supermarket options for area shoppers. So what sets Green Way apart?

“I am confident we will be successful here for a couple of reasons,” said Holmquist. “First, we have top quality and a better selection of organic and natural foods than anyone in the area. Second, people can do a full shop here, meaning our price point is more competitive than others in the area.”

Holmquist said Green Way plans to reformat its new location and will feature a larger produce department in the near future. But for now, it is concentrating on establishing itself as the “new kid on the block” with an eye toward winning over shoppers with a combination of top quality organic and natural foods at competitive prices.

Photo: The produce team from Allegiance Retail Services was on hand Feb. 19 at the opening of the Green Way Market location in Ridgewood, NJ. From left: Dean Holmquist, vice president of store operations; Kelly Davis, director of produce and floral; Brendan Keating, produce and floral specialist; and Ken Brickel, general manager of store operations.

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