OPEN FOR BUSINESS — Representatives from Tops Friendly Markets, along with Boston Town Supervisor Martin Ballowe (pictured, center, in white) cut the ribbon to officially open the Boston State Road store, on Sept. 19. Photos by Lizz Schumer.
BOSTON — The new Tops Friendly Markets location in North Boston has been open since June, but a ribbon-cutting on Sept. 19 marked the grand opening of the newly-renovated store.
“This is part of our effort to expand into these communities that need our services,” said President and CEO Frank Curci. “This location has been a longtime member of our family, as a former B-Kwik store, and it worked out well that the owners were ready to move into a new phase of their lives. [The Tops company has] been moving toward smaller stores, anyway, which is where the industry is moving. That’s the wave of the future in the United States: to offer convenience and variety in these smaller footprints. This is a community that needed to be served and we’re very excited to be here.”
After Saxman Slim played background music for the gathering crowd, Andrew Brocato, director of community relations and events for Tops Markets LLC, served as master of ceremonies for the grand opening, at which several Tops executives, local community leaders, store associates and others attended.
THE GANG’S ALL HERE — Local dignitaries, Tops officials, employees and shoppers all gathered for the grand opening.
Following the Pledge of Allegiance and national anthem, Curci welcomed the crowd and thanked the Marean family, former owners of the North Boston Market, which Tops absorbed.
“Thank you for all of your hard work, over the years. I can only hope we can do as good of a job as you’ve done for the store and the community,” Curci said. “This store might not be the biggest in the world, but the level of enthusiasm and commitment is impressive.
“The heart and soul of a store is its management team,” he continued. “It’s those people who are going to make this store work. With the community’s support, we promise to preserve the long history and dedication to community this store is built on, by providing increased product variety and added convenience. We look forward to serving you for a very long time to come.”
In keeping with Tops’ stated mission of “thinking and acting locally to enrich the community and give back whenever and wherever we can,” Tops representatives presented four local organizations with donations.
Checks were presented to the Boston Emergency Squad, Boston Seniors, North Boston Fire Company and Boy Scout Troop 491.
John Sodaro, store manager of the North Boston location, thanked his team members for their hard work, as the store undertook its renovations.
“It’s exciting to be here to take the wraps off the new store,” he said. “We have a hard-working team that cares about the community and knows every customer that comes through our door. We are making a promise to the community to increase our selection [and] provide new products at exceptional values. We have made significant changes: new decor, significant upgrades in bakery, deli, dairy and frozen [sections], as well as a new Tim Hortons kiosk,” Sodaro said.
“I think we’ve cut the line at the store [down the street] in half. People can now come in and get their coffee in 2 seconds, rather than waiting in line for 20 minutes.
“There is one thing about this store that hasn’t changed,” Sodaro continued. “And that’s the commitment to giving back to the community and being the friendly store that gives you what you want, when you need it.”
Boston Town Supervisor Martin Ballowe, accompanied by board members Jeffrey Genzel and Jay Boardway and Town Clerk Jennifer Mule’, thanked Tops for its commitment to the community.
“This store has always been integral to the community and [has] always been there whenever we needed them,” Ballowe said. “This is needed in the community where we have a large proportion of seniors and families who don’t have time to run into Hamburg for what they need. Thank you and good luck.”
The Tops Friendly Markets in Boston is located at 7375 Boston State Road. The store is 12,000 square feet and employs approximately 40 people, both local and new to the town. The location is open every day, 6 a.m. – 11 p.m.