NYCEDC and ShopRite announce grand opening of Gateway Center Supermarket, creating more than 350 jobs in east New York
ShopRite is Ninth Supermarket to Open Via the City’s FRESH Program, Providing Fresh Produce to Underserved Areas
New York (Oct 6, 2014): New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and ShopRite today announced the grand opening of ShopRite of Gateway Center in East New York, which will create more than 350 full and part-time jobs in the area and bring fresh produce to an underserved neighborhood. The supermarket, located in the Gateway Center Shopping Plaza, is the ninth supermarket to open through the Food Retail Expansion to Support Health (FRESH) Program. The FRESH program, launched by NYCEDC in partnership with the City Council, works to increase access to fresh food in underserved communities throughout all five boroughs by incentivizing the establishment and retention of neighborhood supermarkets. Owned and operated by Glass Gardens, a family business, the 90,000 square foot supermarket is the largest in the city. To commemorate the opening of this supermarket, the Glass family made a donation of $10,000 to the Food Bank for New York City as part of its year-round hunger-fighting initiative, ShopRite Partners In Caring. The ribbon cutting ceremony took place this morning at the ShopRite supermarket at 590 Gateway Drive in East New York, attended by NYCEDC Chief Operating Officer Zachary Smith, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, New York State Senator John L. Sampson, Glass Gardens Owner Andrew Kent, Food/Fund Sourcing Coordinator at the Food Bank for New York City Indhira Castillo, and Rob Ecker, United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1500 Representative.
“This ShopRite supermarket creates multiple direct benefits for the East New York community, creating over 350 locally hired jobs while bringing fresh produce to an underserved area of the City,” said NYCEDC Chief Operating Officer Zachary Smith. “The FRESH program has helped bring supermarkets to areas across all five boroughs, and this ShopRite, the largest market in the City, will contribute significantly to the economic sustainability of East New York and all of Brooklyn.”
“Increasing fresh foods at affordable prices in low-income neighborhoods is a key step towards building stronger communities,” said New York City Food Policy Director Barbara Turk. “I am pleased to support EDC’s FRESH program to attract quality grocery stores, such as ShopRite, to neighborhoods long depleted of a much needed steady supply of fruits, vegetables and other healthy food options.”
“Every New Yorker deserves access to nutritious, affordable, fresh food in their neighborhood,” said Associate Commissioner of the Center for Health Equity, Dr. Aletha Maybank. “The FRESH program works to increase the availability of healthy food options, which has been linked to lower rates of heart disease, diabetes and obesity. We applaud the efforts of grocery store operators and building developers to make sure one’s health isn’t determined by their zip code.”
“For far too long, too many neighborhoods and their residents in our great Borough have been denied access to healthy and affordable food,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. “In a city that claims to have everything for everyone, our most underserved communities do not have access to the healthy food they need and deserve. Now, through the FRESH program, which promotes the establishment and retention of supermarkets in underserved communities, ShopRite will open the largest FRESH market to date right here in East New York. I want to thank NYCEDC and ShopRite—which has donated millions of dollars to various food banks—for their work in helping to expand the FRESH program. Now East New York, one of the most underserved communities not only in Brooklyn but all of New York City, will no longer starve when it’s time to go food shopping.”
The new ShopRite at Gateway Center offers a wide range of groceries and fresh produce, as well as several services including a pharmacy; a from-scratch bake shop featuring store-made bread, doughnuts and pastries; fresh meat cut to order; a floral department; fresh seafood delivered daily; and a catering coordinator to help customers with all of their entertaining needs. The store will also feature a broad selection of natural and organic products in every department, as well as a wide selection of freshly prepared meals from a hot buffet bar.
Low-income areas across the City have higher rates of diet-related diseases, including heart disease, diabetes and obesity. Residents of these neighborhoods often have limited access to fresh foods in their local communities compared to residents of higher-income neighborhoods. Increasing healthy food retail in these neighborhoods reduces disparities in access to nutritious, affordable, fresh food. To address this, the City launched the FRESH program in partnership with the City Council in 2009. An inter-agency effort supported by the Mayor’s Office, NYCEDC, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and the Department of City Planning, FRESH offers an array of zoning and financial incentives to encourage the development of neighborhood grocery stores in underserved communities throughout the five boroughs. Since launching, a total of 18 FRESH projects have been approved—three of which have been approved for zoning benefits—and nine have completed construction. Collectively, these supermarkets are expected to provide about 578,000 square feet of new or renovated space, are estimated to retain more than 500 jobs and create over 940 new jobs, and represent a private investment of approximately $80 million across the City.
ShopRite of Gateway Center utilized the NYC Department of Small Business Services’ NYC Business Acceleration program to expedite its launch process. NYC Business Acceleration helped the supermarket open 56 days faster by providing several necessary reviews and inspections. Since launching in 2010, NYC Business Acceleration has helped more than 2,300 food and beverage businesses, creating over 34,000 jobs, open faster by reducing the time and effort needed to meet City requirements like plan reviews and inspections. Both NYC Business Acceleration and FRESH have been created to facilitate expanded access to fresh, healthy food for all New Yorkers across the City. For more information on NYC Business Acceleration services, visit www.nyc.gov/sbs.
Glass Gardens is a family owned business led by second generation grocers Irv Glass and Terry Glass. The business also owns the ShopRite of Brooklyn on Avenue I and McDonald Avenue and several other ShopRites in New York and New Jersey.