Bargain-hunters rush in for opening of ShopRite in Orange, score $99 TVs

ORANGE >> ShopRite of Orange opened Sunday at 8 a.m. to a huge crowd of shoppers in the former Stop & Shop building on Bull Hill Lane, where the big opening day coupon special was a 42-inch LED HD television for $99.

Before the customers came rushing in, there was a ribbon-cutting in the front of the store attended by officials, including First Selectman Jim Zeoli, who said, “This is a good day for all of you, a good day for Orange and the whole region.”

The store’s owner, Harry Garafalo, said Sunday of opening a sixth store in the area, “We think Orange has been underserved. We thought this would be a good location.”

“We think it’s a great addition to our existing network of ShopRite stores,” he said.

The Garafalo family operates ShopRite stores in Milford, East Haven, Stratford, West Haven and Hamden.

The store at 259 Bull Hill Lane, is the town’s only full-service supermarket. According to ShopRite officials, the new extensively renovated store is 63,500 square feet and brings some 200 full- and part-time jobs to the area.

In addition to groceries and fresh produce delivered daily, the ShopRite of Orange will feature the free services of an on-site dietitian to help customers shop for healthful choices or specific diets, a from-scratch bake shop, full-service floral department, pharmacy, freshly prepared foods and a broad selection of ethnic, natural, organic and gluten-free products, store officials said. The store also has a burrito bar and sushi bar.

It also offers a ShopRite From Home service that allows customers to place orders online and pick them up at the store or have them delivered.

The new store, offering many bargains this week, will be open Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sundays from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Joanne Acquarulo of West Haven, who usually shops in the ShopRite in her city on Campbell Avenue, was one of the first customers in the door because she wanted one of the televisions.

“That was the reason to come this early — I knew they would go quick,” she said. “I blow more money playing bingo” than the cost of the television. Acquarulo said she lives closer to the Orange store and will probably shop there from now on.

Jaime Doheny, another early shopper who was there with two of her children in tow to get the television, said even though she lives in West Haven, the Orange ShopRite — just on the border — will make grocery shopping more convenient.

State Rep. Pam Staneski, R-Milford, whose district includes Milford and Orange, said she believes the new location will “thrive” — not only because of the top-notch facility, but also because the Garafalos are “good people who give back to the community,” including supporting United Way and other helping organizations.

Staneski said ShopRite is especially close to her heart because 20 years ago when she moved to Milford and her son “needed” grandparents, there were plenty around to interact with him and hug him on Tuesdays at ShopRite, which the Garafalos had deemed senior day.

“He got grandma and grandpa hugs galore,” Staneski said.

Harry Garafalo, who began his employment with ShopRite as a shopping cart collector some 40 years ago, opened a new flagship store in Milford last summer.

Correction: This article has been updated to reflect Saturday’s hours as well.