Grand & Essex is gearing up to have more of everything shoppers love. An expansion has begun into space that had been a deli, plus half the wine store next to it. The store will be approximately 30% bigger, with a new produce department, longer and wider aisles and enlarged sushi, prepared food and meat departments.
The expansion will be carried out in stages with little disruption to customers and day-to-day business. Originally planned to begin after Pesach 2020, the timing was impacted by COVID-19 restrictions and supply chain backups. Grand & Essex is adamant that any increases in construction costs will not be passed along to consumers.
“Customer service is our top priority at Grand & Essex,” said owner Shia Schonfeld. “Seeing how crowded the store gets on Thursdays, Fridays and erev Yom Tovs, with lines out the door, B”H, we knew we had to create the best shopping experience by making Grand & Essex bigger and better. When our customers are happy, we’re happy!”
Yitzy Elbaum, director of culinary operations, said the added space will make Grand & Essex a more comfortable, aesthetically pleasing place to shop, with more variety. “We are expanding takeout a lot, with more fresh food options,” he said. “The thing that excites me the most is that the way we have aligned the space, it will be more comfortable for people to line up, shop and place an order.”
Stools are being added in the takeout food and sushi areas so you can have a quick bite while you shop. There will be a carving station and sandwich bar, salad bar and poke bar. A wok station is coming, where you can place your order, shop and return to collect it. Little Italy will remain with a different configuration.
A brand new, much larger kitchen with separate meat and pareve sections will facilitate Grand & Essex’s growing catering business. “The things they have been able to accomplish with one small kitchen day after day is astounding,” said Mali Baer, director of marketing and customer care. “The new kitchen will make the takeout department and catering better and more fluid to accommodate customers.”
Zevy Greenberg, manager of the butcher section, said his department will almost double in size. “It will give us room to carry items we physically had no room for until now,” he said.
The additional space will mean more new products on the shelves. “We’re always open to customers requesting products they’d like to see in the store,” said General Manager Yossi Spitz. “With the expansion, we’ll be able to carry a larger variety of products and give our customers more of what they want or need.”
Baer is excited for activities to return. “We used to have great events here,” she said. “We will have tastings, cooking demos and other exciting things again with the bigger space.”
By Bracha Schwartz