Downtown Baltimore’s former Superfresh store reopened Friday, albeit a couple of hours later than officials said it would, with its new name, Fresh & Green’s, and new ownership.
Fresh & Green’s is owned by Scarsdale, N.Y.-based Mrs. Green’s Management Corp., which recently bought 10 local Superfresh stores in a joint venture. The store at Charles and Saratoga streets was mostly full of inventory and new produce Friday.
Many of Superfresh’s employees who re-applied for jobs were hired at the new store, said Matt Williams, CEO of parent company Natural Market Restaurants Corp., which owns the Mrs. Green’s chain.
An employee of Mrs. Green’s had announced Thursday that the store would open at 9 a.m. Friday, but employees had to turn away potential customers at the appointed hour because the store wasn’t yet ready for its soft opening.
At 11 a.m., the store opened to a steady trickle of lunchtime customers.
Shanelle Knight, a former cashier at Superfresh now rehired for Fresh & Green’s, was handing out fliers and coupons to customers walking into the store to promote the opening.
“I hope this will be a successful location,” Knight said. “A lot of our old customers are happy to see the friendly faces and see us back, a lot of people are happy we’re opening again.”
The former Superfresh at Charles Plaza had closed by 6 p.m. Tuesday. The 36 hours before Friday’s reopening were spent restocking and cleaning up the store, as well as bringing in managers and employees, Williams said. The quick turnaround was harried because the company didn’t want to interrupt store service to the area, he said.
“To do that for the staff and the customers sends the message that we’re immediately open for business,” Williams said.
Superfresh’s parent company, The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. Inc. in Montvale, N.J., runs supermarket chains under six names in eight states in the Northeast and Washington, D.C. The company has been trying to sell 25 Superfresh stores, mostly in the Baltimore area. A&P was successful in finding buyers for 12 of its 25 stores.