By Kathryn G. Menu
The Bridgehampton King Kullen has been getting an interior facelift in recent weeks. But according to Tony Femminella, vice president of store operations for the Long Island supermarket chain, the store’s expansion into a neighboring retail space will not only allow it to broaden its current shelf offerings, but will allow the store to expand its café and enter into the growing — and increasingly popular — grocery delivery service business.
For the past two months, regular shoppers at King Kullen, located in the Kimco Realty Corporation’s Bridgehampton Commons, would be hard pressed not to notice changes in the grocery store. Walking in the front doors, patrons are greeted by a larger, expansive produce section. Other areas, including the café, remain cordoned off as construction continues at the site which will expand the store into the roughly 58,000 square foot retail space most recently occupied by The Children’s Place, enabling the store to redesign and expand its bakery.
The bakery at King Kullen, brand new and complete with ovens baking fresh bread for customers, is now located where the dairy section of the store once stood. Moving the bakery deeper into the store not only allowed it to expand, said Femminella, but will enable the store to rebuild it’s café into a larger space for people to enjoy breakfast, lunch or an early dinner before or after shopping.
“We were able to make it a little larger and add a greater selection, which is key,” said Femminella who added that the new café will offer a selection of home meal replacement options, prepared lunches and dinners, freshly made sandwiches and a selection of sushi.
The produce selection has also been expanded, and new dairy and beer cases installed in the store. Flooring throughout the building has also been replaced and new checkout counters have also been installed.
Perhaps the biggest change, however, is the company’s decision to expand into grocery delivery at its Bridgehampton location — a market Femminella noted has been growing in the last few years.
Most recently, companies like Stop & Shop’s Peapod grocery delivery and the Manhattan based Fresh Direct have provided grocery delivery services on the South Fork, the latter only in high season. Schiavoni’s Market in Sag Harbor also offers delivery service in the Sag Harbor Fire District for $12.50, as well as Shop & Drop services and lunch delivery for orders $20 or more within the Sag Harbor business district and to marinas.
King Kullen currently offers delivery at 15 of its 42 Long Island locations, but not at any of its East End branches, which in addition to Bridgehampton include Cutchogue, Riverhead, Hampton Bays and Eastport.
“It will be two fold,” said Femminella. “Number one, when you go online, you can order right off a menu of items. Then you can either select a time slot for pick up at the store, which will be at a separate entrance in the rear, or you can schedule a delivery.”
The company plans to offer service throughout the Town of Southampton and as far into East Hampton as the 11963 zip code extends.
Femminella said the company hopes to have the site running through www.kingkullen .com by mid-May, just in time for the summer season rush.