By Jenna Bagcal
A long-awaited Long Island-based supermarket is finally up and running in Whitestone.
North Shore Farms, located at 153-01 10th Ave., had its grand opening Dec. 14 after months of setbacks delayed original plans. The new location is North Shore Farms’ eighth location and its first in Queens.
Lines stretched from the checkout counters almost to the end of the shopping center when doors opened this morning and the first 10 customers received $25 North Shore Farms gift cards.
“We’re excited to bring North Shore Farms to Whitestone and to Queens,” said George Tsiatis, a spokesman for the company. “Our Great Neck store was close, but there’s nothing like being in the heart of a vibrant community like Whitestone. We’re lucky to have had the support of the community and we look forward to serving them now and in the future.”
The store is a one-stop-shop for locally sourced foods and features a fresh produce section, baked goods fresh seafood and meat selections, a large array of cheeses and ready-to-eat prepared foods. Local vendors will also showcase cooking demonstrations in store.
On Thursday, Dec. 13, store owners held a commemorative preview celebration, store blessing and ribbon cutting. Guests were invited to sample a range of store offerings including fresh sushi, steak and sandwiches.
Also in attendance was Queens Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas Grech, leaders of the We Love Whitestone Civic Association, NYPD Community Affairs Office, along with representatives from local churches and nonprofit organizations and other civic leaders.
Local religious leaders including Bishop Apostolos of Medeia, Father Dionysios Anagnostopoulos of Holy Cross, Father John Lardas and Father Dennis Strouzas of Archangel Michael, Father Nektarios Papazafiropoulos of St. Demetrios Cathedral and Father Gerasimos presided over a traditional Greek Orthodox blessing [an “Agiasmo”] for a successful business.
Following the blessing, Grech welcomed store owners to the neighborhood on behalf of the borough and offered his services if they ever needed anything.
“On behalf of our 2.4 million people, many of whom are Greek, welcome to Queens,” said Grech. “The small businesses of our country are the backbone of our country. Lots of our electeds and other folks give lots of lip service to that, but we know how hard you all work to provide for your families.”
Residents heard that the store would fill the old Waldbaum’s space at Whitestone Plaza back in October 2016, with the original opening date slated for summer 2017. But the high-end supermarket’s opening was pushed back due to construction and extensive renovations.
When Waldbaums closed in November 2015, residents were left without a local supermarket but were apprehensive about having to pay North Shore Farm’s higher prices. They drafted a petition and submitted it to the Feil Organization who owns the complex where North Shore Farms is located.
On Saturday, Dec. 22, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Maria Zoitas of the renowned Made by Maria brand will hold a book signing in the store for her new cookbook “Made with Love.”
North Shore Farms in Whitestone is open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.