June 24, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

ShopRite of Englewood Reopens After Hurricane Damage

Andrew Kent, executive vice president of Glass Garden Corporation who operates the Englewood and Paramus ShopRite stores, told The Jewish Link on re-opening day last Friday, that they were grateful and blessed to be operational once again. Kent spoke using terms of glowing appreciation for the associates of both stores. Not once did he or the Englewood ShopRite General Manager, Ed Horan, use the term, “employee.” “The associates here are driven by tremendous dedication, and the company is also driven by dedication and compassion.”

The company is two, and in some cases, three generations deep. Kent said that, “All associates were retained throughout the crisis. Some worked in Englewood on cleanup and renovations, while others were bused to Paramus to assist with the influx of customers coming from the Englewood store customer areas.”

Horan said that the cleanup and renovation required a 27/7 effort for a full three weeks, including the restocking and refilling of the shelves. He said the store’s associates did everything except what was required by professionals. “Flood remediation professionals replaced walls” and the like, he explained.

Kathy Dolce, ShopRite district manager said the store was, “…stripped to the studs.” Kent added that to do this they had to remove and replace the sheet rock from their renovation of just four years ago. “We removed anything that could retain water, including wood. But this time, we replaced and upgraded with materials that don’t retain water. We hired experts and we got lucky—everything went right in the process, and met the standards of the health department.”

Adding to his compliments about the associates, Horan proudly quipped that, “Our recent renovation took us three years to complete. But our associates got this renovation done in three weeks!” Said Kent, “Two hundred associates worked night and day. We are blessed to have the support of the company infrastructure (which allowed maintaining jobs) and the dedication of our associates who did so much of the work.” Asked if they and the associates had gotten much sleep in the past three weeks, Horan and Hinojosa laughed and rolled their eyes.

Kent explained that the reopening was actually delayed by some COVID-related issues. Asked about the biggest challenge of the project, he responded, “The waterline was so high that there was a lot of damage to electronic and refrigeration units. The attainment of replacement equipment and parts was slow due to lack of availability” because of manufacturing and delivery delays secondary to the business environment of COVID; “a delay was 21 days.”

The challenge was worsened he said, because of the timing: right in the middle of one their busiest times of year, before the Jewish holidays.

Kent added that what meant the most to him/the company about the success of this process, was, “We are a team that works together in times of crisis. The associates worked with them and, “We worked with our associates and with Michael Wildes, the mayor of Englewood, other local officials and the State of New Jersey Department of Health. We and our associates are committed to the Jewish community, and we appreciate their support.” He says that he feels blessed by all of these factors.

The store is already well stocked with most of the usual fare. The produce and floral departments look beautiful. The kosher deli and fish counters are open, already offering many of their usual in-house prepared foods. Kent added to this progress that they plan in the near future to add expanded kosher offerings, especially with products that are from Israeli vendors. Visiting the store it is obvious that some areas await completion, pending the arrival of shelving materials and other supplies. So, moving forward they will continue to complete renovations as materials arrive and look forward to continuing to serve the community.

By Ellie Wolf

 

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