by Kathryn Koch, Old Colony Memorial and Plymouth Bulletin
June 25 2008
PLYMOUTH, MA -- The new grocery store under construction at The Pinehills looks like a barn from the outside and has a wide-open design also reminiscent of a barn on the inside.
Design counts at The Market with a floor plan that directs customers easily from one department to the next around the perimeter of the grocery store and incorporates input from Pinehills and area residents.
Michael Szathmary, managing director of The Market, said the open feeling that's produced by designing the supermarket like a barn was a goal. Another is to stock the store with the freshest foods possible for their customers.
"We're firm believers it's all about the food," he said. "The market is going to be perishables-driven with strong produce, meat and seafood departments."
Full-service cheese, deli, meat and seafood departments will complement a bake shop, a seasonal and locally grown produce department (through an arrangement with the Southeastern Massachusetts Agricultural Partnership), a prepared-food section, salad bar, dairy and frozen foods, chef's cove, a floral department and aisles of groceries to be sold at everyday prices, according to Szathmary. The emphasis, he said, will be on fresh, quality food.
The grocery store isn't exclusively for Pinehills residents either.
"People who live in the area can travel here," he said. "It's a perfect addition to the area."
Szathmary has been in retail for 34 years and worked on the market side for 22 years. He worked for Legal Seafoods Marketplace, played a major role in the founding of the Nature's Heartland natural food supermarket before it was sold to Whole Foods, and has owned his own Boston-area market.
When New England Development and Pinehills Managing Partner Tony Green contacted him about overseeing management of the new market, he accepted the challenge.
"It never gets old to see something go from a concept to being built and having the team on board to share the passion," he said.
The Market will go green in several aspects, Szathmary said. A ceiling fan with a 20-foot span for climate control will help save energy, a new BIO-EZ stainless steel machine with an augur will turn organic waste into a liquid that can be disposed of through the sewer system to reduce waste, a compressor water heater will generate hot water, special LED bulbs are being used for efficiency, and three different kinds of bags made of recyclable materials will be available for shoppers.
Gilbane Construction of Boston started construction of the approximately 16,000-square-foot building with 13,000 square feet of usable space and a maximum height of 32 feet at its highest point in November. Construction has also started on an addition that will be the new home for Long Ridge Wine & Spirits when the liquor store moves from the Village Green. An adjoining doorway will connect the two stores, and there will be a separate entrance just for Long Ridge customers.
Mark Guinasso, the store manager, has been in the supermarket business for more than 32 years. He started out as a bagboy and continues to own and operate a market in New Hampshire. His business partner is in charge in New Hampshire while he's here in Plymouth.
Guinasso started working as the store manager six weeks ago. He read about the start-up and inquired about the opportunity to be part of growing the business from the ground floor and to work with Szathmary again. Guinasso worked for Szathmary at Nature's Heartland.
As an entrepreneur, Guinasso said he's enthusiastic about the role he has played in the development of the store.
"It's a passion for the business," he said. "I've been involved in all phases of the business, and bringing it to reality is the fun part."
Szathmary said the name – The Market – fits in with its location.
"It goes hand in hand with The Pinehills," he said. "Everyone's going to say we're going to the market anyway."
During a sneak peak tour of The Market, members of the workshop groups that offered input as to what they'd like to see the business offer got a first look at their new grocery store, which is expected to open shortly after Labor Day in September.
As one future shopper said, "I can't wait."
England Development.....One Wells Avenue.....Newton