Gala Fresh Farms, the ‘upscale’ grocery that last year bought the floundering Ocean Avenue Waldbaum’s, is expected to open for business on Friday, according to a company spokesperson.
Waldbaum’s, the longtime neighborhood grocer at 3100 Ocean Avenue closed its doors in November during the bankruptcy saga of its parent company, A&P. The location was auctioned off to Compare Foods, which told us it would replace Waldbaum’s with a new ‘upscale’ grocery chain called Gala Fresh Farms.
A Compare Foods spokesperson told us in November it would take a month to convert the space into the new store. However, renovations dragged on into the new year and Compare foods did not return our repeated requests for updates on when the business will open.
This week we connected with a spokesperson for Gala Fresh Farms, who promised the new grocer will be fully stocked and ready for business Friday. The store opens at 7:30am, she said. Neighbors also informed us they received a mailer advertising Gala Fresh Farm products on sale starting March 4.
The company did not provide us with any promotional materials about offerings at the store. However, a glance at the Facebook page for their Baldwin, NY location — the first of five Gala Fresh Farms to open — shows the business is similar to a Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s. Pictures on the page show shelves stocked with glass jugs of organic milk, packages of all natural pizza crust, fresh lobster ravioli, and baskets of coffee beans.
There’s also a deli section with trays of hot and cold food.
The spokesperson for Gala Fresh Farms said Friday will be a soft opening and the company isn’t planning a ceremony to welcome themselves to the neighborhood. For many in the area, the grocer fills a vacancy left after Waldbaum’s disappeared. We’ll see how they fill the void.