The Pompton Avenue location near the border of Cedar Grove is one of 25 stores operated by Parsippany-based Kings. About half of the stores have undergone recent renovations, which in Verona include the addition of an Italian specialty food section, a new Mezza bar, an expanded floral department and a new cafe with television and WiFi service.
The work took about three months to complete and was often done overnight with no disturbance to customers, said Anthony Sanfillippo, store manager.
The ceremony took place amid cases of fresh bread and baked goods and mounds of fruits and vegetables. COO Rich Durante said during his remarks that 213 organic produce items were available Friday, calling it the largest selection of any area super market.
Verona Councilman Kevin Ryan told those gathered he has been shopping at the Verona Kings since he moved to town 28 years ago and has seen many incarnations of the store.
"Thank you for investing in Verona and hopefully Verona will invest in you," Ryan said.
Kings President and CEO Judy Spires was on hand to welcome shoppers and present a check for $1,000 to the Human Needs Food Pantry, which provides food, clothing and other needs to area residents. The store will also hold a two-week food drive for the pantry.
Another check for $500 was presented by the store's food workers union to the Verona Rescue Squad.
The celebration continues throughout the weekend:
- Cooking demonstrations and tastings will take place throughout the store on Saturday and Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Nutritionist Shari Belt Boockvar will be available for in-store consultations on Saturday.
- Customers may enter a drawing for a basket of Italian specialties and Kings gift cards.