Mega wine and spirit store opens on Cherry Street

Total Wine & More opens its “next-generation” retail store in Milford today after opening the store Wednesday evening to invited guests and dignitaries for a tour and ribbon cutting.

Located at 230 Cherry Street in Milford, it is at the site of the former Showcase Cinemas, where the new and expanded ShopRite will be constructed.

The mayor was on hand Wednesday night, as were several state representatives, city aldermen and other city officials. Distributors poured samples of wine, beer and other beverages stocked at the new Milford store as music played in the background.

Co-owner David Trone said Milford was chosen as the new location for Total Wine & More because “it’s a great market” that boasts a respectable household income and a community of people who “appreciate fine wine and spirits.”

Brothers David and Robert Trone founded Total Wine & More in 1991 when they opened their first store in Delaware. By year’s end Total Wine & More will have 130 superstores in 18 states and revenues of $2.1 billion, according to a company press release.

Christopher Carveth, Milford Chamber of Commerce chairman, and Mayor Ben Blake praised the company and owners for their success and said they will be a good addition to Milford’s business front.

“They took a spot and turned it into a profitable enterprise,” Carveth said.

The beverage superstore is certainly a mega beverage store, visitors commented Wednesday evening as they browsed aisle after aisle and peeked into a conference and tasting room and even a cigar shop in the rear of the store.

The store uses the latest technologies, including educational content on iPads and in-store flat panel displays to educate customers in making their wine, beer and spirits selections.

Total Wine & More is marking the Milford store’s grand opening by partnering with five non-profits – the Arts Council of Greater New Haven, Milford Arts Council, Connecticut Audubon Society, Connecticut Food Bank, and The Tommy Fund – to support their programs.

Each of the five charities will pair with a weekend and receive a donation of 10% of all wine and beer sales from that weekend.

The store will be joined in the next year or so by a new and expanded ShopRite, which is expected to be completed around the summer or fall of 2016.

Also, a restaurant pad and possibly a gas station will be built in the area.

The current ShopRite has been in its location for 22 years across the street from the new location. The new grocery store will be 68,000 square feet, and the parking lot will have a total of 340 spots. ShopRite will have an expanded food service and will include more organic items, larger bakery and more.

In 2014 Milford’s Planning and Zoning Board approved a petition from Attorney John Knuff to construct the retail stores, a restaurant and gasoline station at the 10.85-acre property, owned by 230 Cherry Milford LLC and BVS Investors LLC.

Ceruzzi Holdings is developing the site.