On November 1st, Food Bazaar Supermarket invited members of the East New York community to an official ribbon cutting and spectacular grand opening event at its 11110 Flatlands Avenue location. This new site is their sixth Brooklyn-based store and 25th store chain-wide. This privately owned company, whose corporate office functions under the name of Bogopa Service Corp, provides full-service supermarkets that currently employees close to 5,000 people. The President of Food Bazaar Supermarket, Spencer An, announced during the opening that about 100 local residents were employed at the Flatlands store.
“Today marks a culmination of a three year long project,” An said to the crowd. “We wanted to build you not just a regular supermarket; we wanted to offer you an experience—something that you could be proud to call your supermarket. We thank you for your patience,” he said proudly.
Food Bazaar’s grand opening was truly a site to behold. There were balloons, small gazebos with free food samples, a small fleet of bikes for raffle (along with other prizes), confetti bursting through the air, and a live Mariachi band (as well as music spun by a DJ later on that day). After a few words from Food Bazaar officials, Christian Cultural Center’s Minister, Onorio Chaparro led the gathering in a brief prayer and blessing of the store. It was also announced that Food Bazaar was kicking off their presence in East New York with a good deed—a sizable donation of food to the Christian Cultural Center’s food pantry.
After the prayer, Spencer An as well as members of the Bogopa Service Corp, executives of Food Bazaar, Chaparro, two officers from the 75th precinct, and other officials gathered in front of the store and held a long red satin ribbon between themselves. Each of the dignitaries were given scissors, and then counting down they all cut the ribbon as bursts of confetti flew into the air, officially opening Food Bazaar on Flatlands Avenue.
For many the grand opening of Food Bazaar on Flatlands Avenue was a fantastic experience albeit a long overdue one. “It feels amazing to be open because we have had a long time in preparing for this and the people in the community have been asking about it. We have gotten more calls on our hotline asking when the Flatlands store would open than any other store. So the community has been very eager for us to get here and we are happy to finally be here,” said Director of Marketing and Employee Development, Susan Kuczan.
Kuczan told the Spring Creek Sun that on October 18th, Food Bazaar held a soft opening, which saw people in the community waiting eagerly at 6 am for the doors to open. Claudbette Charley was one of those eager locals who visited Food Bazaar during its soft opening. “I’ve been here since the first day it really opened its doors and I love it. I usually visit another Food Bazaar, but now I don’t have to travel as far,” Charley said happily.
For Dorothy Bowser, a Spring Creek Towers resident, the new store meant easier access to another supermarket. “It’s my first time here, and so far I think it is great. I wanted to try something different and just compare the prices to other stores that I shop at. I wanted to see what’s the most I can get for my money, and so far it was much better here. But before I make up my mind, I want to make sure that the good prices continue past the grand opening,” Bowser said.
Photos by Amanda Moses