Bensonhurst Waldbaums to become a Key Food

Bensonhurst’s own Waldbaums, located at 8121 New Utrecht Avenue, will be the latest supermarket to change hands following the Chapter 11 Bankruptcy filed by The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company (A&P) last month.

The parent company to stores like Best Cellars, Food Basics, The Food Emporium, Pathmark, Superfresh and Waldbaum’s, A&P’s filing left 25 of its East Coast stores set to close and an additional 118 slated for a change of ownership—the Bensonhurst Waldbaums being one of 17 other stores covered under the asset purchase agreement with Key Food Stores Co-operative Inc.

“The vast majority of our stores are operating normally and will be fully stocked,” said A&P when the filing was announced. “While some stores will close in the near-term, the vast majority will continue providing customers with the same high-quality products and exceptional customer service. Serving our customers will continue to be our number one priority.”

While no time-frame has been specified for store closings or changes, President and CEO of A&P Paul Hertz, said that the decision to close some stores was “difficult,” but necessary in order to ensure a smooth sales process for some of the other stores.

“These actions will enable the company to refocus its efforts to ensure the vast majority of A&P stores continue operating under new owners as a result of the court-supervised process,” said Hertz. “We greatly appreciate the continued support of our customers, suppliers and employees, who have maintained an unwavering commitment to our business and our customers.”

Some local shoppers will be sad to see the supermarket go.

“I love Waldbaums, I always went to Waldbaums as a little kid,” said local resident Rosalia Monetti. “I go to key food too but I feel like [Waldbaums] is cleaner, it’s better and I always like it here.”

However, other shoppers, like Charleen Grassi, are thankful for the change.

“This is by far the worst store that anybody would ever want to shop in,” Grassi said. “They have expired goods on the shelf and management here is atrocious—[maybe not] the people that directly work here, but the people over them. I actually wanted to go to the [Key Food] on Bath Avenue but we don’t have a car.”

While mixed customer reactions are to be expected, one Waldbaums employee told this paper that the reaction among the staff has been one of worry.

“We’re all going to be losing our jobs,” the 25-year employee, who wished to remain anonymous, said. “We don’t know what’s going on. We’re in the uproar and we’re waiting to see what happens. None of us know anything.”

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