Big Y Green Flagship to Open This Week

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- Big Y said it will open a $20 million, 66,000-square-foot, eco-friendly flagship World Class Market in Northampton, Mass. Nov 8, replacing the chain's oldest store and incorporating its most environmentally friendly features.

Big Y, based here, said the new store will boast the most energy-efficient lighting, motors, heating, cooling, and refrigeration systems currently available. The shopping center's green space enhancements of more trees and grassy areas exceed current requirements.

Also, the drainage systems pretreat to remove sediment and oil from storm water, with the aim of preventing spills and nonpoint surface pollution from entering downstream lakes and rivers, the chain said.

Programs to recycle cardboard, plastic and compost will help to reduce solid waste disposal.

As a result of such efforts, Big Y said it anticipates the Northampton unit will earn an Energy Star Certificate from the U.S. EPA after a one-year mandatory waiting period.

This store will be the first Big Y location to feature an old-fashioned butcher shop that will custom-cut all fresh meat, restaurant-style seating in the in-store cafE, a year-round farmers' market selling fresh fruits and vegetables year, and a full line of wines, liquors, and beer from Big Y's Table & Vine business, including a walk-in beer cooler within the store.

Other features include an in-store pharmacy, a full array of locally grown produce, an International Food Court offering home-style meals, a full-service floral shop, an extensive and enlarged bakery and delicatessen, fresh New England seafood from New England piers, and a new cheese shop with Table & Vine selections from around the world, Big Y said.

The store's expanded space-the original store was only 20,00 square feet when it opened in 1959-allows it to offer more organic and natural items, including fruits; vegetables; herbs; beef; chicken; milk; eggs; cereal; baby food; 250 private label Full Circle Organic items; Fair Trade coffees, teas, and rice; environmentally friendly paper and cleaning products; over 100 new organic frozen food selections such as pizza and macaroni and cheese; shampoos; vitamins; wine; and beer (some varieties of the beer are also gluten-free).

Specialty foods will be available from Asia, Central and South America, Europe, the Caribbean, Canada and Australia; and Big Y will offer its largest selection of domestic and imported sparkling and spring waters at the store.

In addition to retaining many of the old store's employees, including store manager Joe Cavanaugh, Big Ysaid it hired 160 additional associates for a total of 245 employees.

Family-owned and -operated Big Y operates 56 stores throughout Connecticut and Massachusetts.
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