It’s taken several years for the Springfield-based supermarket giant to devise a plan and location for its first small-scale market, according to Colin D’Amour, senior director of Big Y Express, but that time has come. The official opening of the market in the former CVS location at Tower Square was conducted on June 15. The ceremony was marked not by the cutting a ribbon, but instead the cutting of a 6-foot-long sub by Mayor Domenic Sarno.
Colin D’Amour explained the company had been considering such a downtown location in part because the downtown area is a “food desert,” when it comes to grocery shopping. He said the result is a market that “allows the customer to have a quick full shop.” Ten thousand square feet in size, the market offer more than 250 varieties of fresh fruits and vegetables, local grocery goods, cakes, hot coffee and sandwiches, a large selection of everyday essentials, freshly made sushi and grab and go meals. It will be open seven days a week. Charles D’Amour, president and CEO of Big Y Foods, said “We’ve been looking at downtown Springfield for a long, long time.” He added the importance of a grocery store to a community was shown during the coronavirus pandemic. “it gave comfort,” he said. “A grocery store is the heart of a community,” Charles D’Amour said.
Mayor Domenic Sarno said, “The buzz has been tremendous [about the store].” He praised Big Y Foods for being “an outstanding corporate citizen for many many years.” Referencing the $1 million in ARPA funding the company received from Springfield to help fund the new store’s construction, Sarno said that public investment “spurs private investment.” He believes this investment downtown will lead to more private investment. When asked if the store was a pilot that could be reproduced in other downtown areas, Colin D’Amour said, “Potentially yes.” He called it a “unique opportunity.”