Looking over food selections at the new Fairway Market in Stamford Wednesday morning, Lauren Drysdale couldn't help but be impressed. But then, she knew what to expect.
"We used to live in New York and we used to shop in a Fairway Market there," said Drysdale, her two boys, ages 1 and 4, in tow. Now that she lives in Stamford, it's nice to know there's a Fairway in town. And even though she lives on the East side and would have to travel a bit, "it would be worth it," she said. "It's wonderful."
Many others had the same opinion of the gigantic supermarket. It's so big maps were given to entering customers "so you don't get lost," as one greeter said.
The grand opening attracted crowds of shoppers who milled throughout the 85,000-square-foot store, perusing meats, cheeses, oils, coffees, produce, organic items, baked goods and other offerings. The festive feeling also spilled outside. There, oblivious to intermittent traffic jams and walkway congestion, a grand opening ceremony took place.
"You'll see the most amazing store you've ever seen in your life," CEO Howie Glickberg told onlookers. The ceremony attracted Stamford Mayor Michael Pavia – whom Glickberg described as "my favorite person in Stamford" and credited with making the project possible – Lt. Gov. Michael Fedele, Supt. of Schools Joshua Starr and state and local representatives, among other dignitaries. Citations from Gov. M. Jodi Rell and U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman were read. The Stamford High School Jazz Combo performed.
The market, located at 699 Canal St., has provided 500 new jobs in the region.
"It's about more than opening a store," Pavia said. "It's about getting people back to work."