RYE BROOK, N.Y. -- "Inspirational displays," a wider, more open "market feel" and a host of new additions -- think a ramen noodle bar and a "Dish of the Day" cart -- are all part of the shopping experience at the new Balducci's Food Lovers Market, which officially opened Friday, Jan. 27 in the Rye Ridge Shopping Center.
So explained President and COO Rich Durante who said the new store, like its siblings in Scarsdale, Greenwich and Westport, is designed with consumer engagement in mind. "We want our customers to talk and ask questions of our associates," he said.
The store has also been created to make life easier for time-pressed shoppers. That's where the "inspirational" displays come in, another way of saying you'll find like-minded products near specific items to give you ideas, or remind you what else to buy.
By the cheese department, for example, customers will find nuts and spreads -- suggestions that go with the cheeses. By meats you'll find sauces and seasonings. And by floral, some home decor items like candles.
"Our customers entertain a lot," said Durante, "So we try to make everything easier for them."
The Balducci brand, in its black and orange labeling, is another big standout with proprietary recipes and partnerships, adding to the store's point of difference. Durante said the upscale market also prides itself on sourcing items no one else has.
Shoppers will find a wide range of organic and kosher products, an eye-catching bakery and prepared foods department, restaurant-quality meats and seafood, some of which is sourced locally, a make your own sandwich station and a host of fresh sushi, including quinoa sushi. Candy is another big area for the store and Balducci's is set up for Valentine's Day with a host of unique items. Also new to Rye Brook: a refrigerated section for ice cream cakes to go.
Those who've been to the Scarsdale locale will also find more room to maneuver their carts. That's because this location is 11,500 square feet as opposed to Scarsdale's 7,500. The spot, which had previously been a D'Agostino's, was basically gutted to create something more in line with the Balducci's brand.
Customers will also find a nice-sized cafe towards the front of the store for eating in or grabbing a coffee.
Along with the grand opening festivities on Friday, there will be a host of in-store tastings and chef demonstrations throughout the weekend including tips from Balducci’s nutritionist, Shari Bilt Boockvar who will be on-site Saturday, Jan. 28 and Sunday, Jan. 29 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. (See earlier Daily Voice story HERE .)
To find out more about Balducci’s Food Lover’s Market and the Rye Brook location, go to www.Balduccis.com .