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Readers’ Choice: Victory is in the bag

Shop­Rite of Whit­man Plaza named Read­ers’ Choice for top su­per­mar­ket.

Photo by Maria Young

By Bill Gelman

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.

You can reach Bill Gelman at bgelman@southphillyreview.com.

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