Readers’ Choice: Victory is in the bag

Photo by Maria Young

One mention of the word “snow,” and the first stop preparing for the storm to-do list is typically the local supermarket, With the “S” word being in the recent 7-day forecast, not once, but twice, the department managers at ShopRite of Whitman Plaza were using the walkie-talkie system to communicate that extra milk, bread and water — the staples of snowstorm survival — were needed. OK, so Winter Storm Stella may not have lived up to its hype, but ShopRite of Whitman Plaza, 330 W. Oregon Ave., knows what it takes to provide customers with exhilarating and pleasurable experience as the Readers’ Choice for top supermarket.

“I was ecstatic when I heard that. I was surprised,” Jennifer Colligas, who is one of the owners. “Our store has gone through a lot of changes since we moved over here. It’s an honor.”

She is of course referring to the September relocation from Snyder Plaza. Jim Colligas, Jennifer’s father, was the mastermind behind the move, but he was not around to see the finished project, having passed away in January 2015. Wife and mother, Suzanne Colligas is also part of the ownership team.

The new space includes a food service area, complete with a grill, salad bar and seating for 32 to enjoy a quick bite or a grab-and-go item.

The international cheese section featuring a 200-pound block of provolone is also an eyecatcher with customers. Colligas describes it as the store “wow factor.”

But there is never a dull moment inside the 58,000-square-foot space that employs close to 300 people..

“We never have a comfort level,” Colligas said. “We have to be moving forward all of the time. …

“We are continuing on with my father’s legacy. We love it. It’s our passion.”

Acme, 1901 Johnston St. scanned second place while ShopRite, 2301 W. Oregon Ave., earned positive feedback in third place.