Gillette Kings Opens With Some Unique Features
Samples greet shoppers on first day of Kings in Valley Mall, relocated from Berkeley Heights.
Shoppers who stopped by the new Kings Supermarket Friday at the Valley Mall Shopping Center in the Gillette section of Long Hill Township were treated to lots of samples and a full platter of sights, aromas and tastes.
The new Kings actually is a relocation of the supermarket in Berkeley Heights, and the new store brought over many of the associates, as well as longtime managers drawn from other stores, said store manager Donna Lewis.
The new supermarket, which fills a vacant space left by the closed Pathmark, was in the works for about a year, she said.
Hibachi Grill, Mediterranean bar
Although many of Kings' specialty items are found throughout the store, the new Gillette location has a few unique features.
The newest Kings is the only one to contain a Hibachi Grill and a Mediterranean bar with healthy Mediterranean-style cooking, said Lakashi Branch, customer services manager in Gillette.
"We have an all new concept," Branch said. The new store has many lunch and dinner items that are ready to eat or seasoned and prepared items ready to pop in the over — such as the already marinated Yakinuku Asian meat or the mushrooms stuffed either with sausage or vegetarian ingredients, as pointed out by Paul Kneeland, Kings vice president of produce, floral, seafood and meat.
Shoppers may see new faces. Tom Rachel said he had transferred from the Warren Township Kings, and he has 33 years in the seafood business. He said some of the new store's specialties are Black Pearl salmon, including individual cuts and many varieties of seafood prepared to be freshly cooked.
On site for part of Friday through Sunday will be Shari Boockvar, a registered dietician who is available to answer a wide variety of questions about healthy eating, or even to conduct a supermarket tour. She said that upon request, she will do a "shopping cart check" to point out the most healthy products to select for individual tastes.
Samples given out on Friday included tastes of many cheeses, desserts, strawberry yogurt smoothies at the coffee bar, pizza fresh from a new pizza oven, salami, salad, vitamin drinks and more.
Barbara Napholtz of Gillettee said she was having a hard time getting up to collect samples with her shopping cart, but "it looks like a really nice store."
"I love it," said Pam Keller of the Stirling section of Long Hill, who said she had shopped at the Berkeley Heights store until it closed. "It's clean and you have space to move in the aisles — and lots of parking," she said. The new store also has lots of variety, she added.
Judy Spires, CEO of Kings, who was present at the grand opening, said that the new store was a "fabulous relocation" of the older store in Berkeley Heights.
She said the new store in Gillette is at the convergence of many municipalities, and Kings is hoping to draw from all of them.