Residents of The Brick, in town halls and online forums, often ask officials when new businesses will open in town. And while elected officials and city hall employees keep an eye on development projects, a private company’s transactions are, well, private.
There is news of two long-planned businesses in town that have not been opened despite major construction and renovations: Royal Farms on Route 70 and the Corrado supermarket slated for the Laurel Square shopping center, located between routes 70 and 88.
This week, during a question-and-answer period moderated by Mayor John Ducey on Facebook, the questions were asked as usual – and the Mayor had a few updates.
First off, the good news: Royal Farms.
“It will be open in December,” Ducey said.
Royal Farms estimates that the new store will open on December 11 or 15, although those dates are subject to change. The Brick’s location is the first in Ocean County and the Shore region as a whole, meaning a whole new staff had to be recruited and trained. For competing companies such as Wawa, the new locations may be temporarily staffed with employees from other stores – a luxury the newcomer to the market did not have. A nationwide labor shortage has hampered companies’ efforts to recruit employees.
“They are going to open without the number of employees they were looking for,” Ducey said. “They just need to open, and they open in the middle of [next] month.”
Royal Farms, known for its fried chicken and other freshly prepared meals, will compete with Wawa and Quick-Chek, which have similar automated ordering systems and fresh designs with adjacent gas stations.
Corrado’s case is a bit more complicated and the store won’t be opening “anytime soon,” Ducey said.
The supermarket is expected to open in the space once occupied by the Pathmark supermarket before its parent company goes bankrupt in 2015. Corrado’s is a family-owned supermarket chain that operates several stores in North Jersey. In addition to the traditional items that can be found in any supermarket, the company specializes in offering homemade Italian dishes. Corrado’s has also purchased a liquor license for its Brick location and plans to operate a liquor store with a large selection of wines. Its locations in other parts of the state host wine clubs and other matchmaking events.
Residents will, however, have to wait a while before they can shop there, as another national crisis – a blockage in the supply chain – has delayed the opening for more than a year.
“They can’t have shelves,” Ducey said. “They can’t open without them. Regarding the refrigeration units, nothing happens until “I don’t know when”.
Indeed, the business faces many of the same obstacles as residents, with higher stakes.
“Just for me, we ordered furniture in February, and they told us they would be there right before Halloween,” the mayor explained. “Then on Halloween they told us December 10th and now they told us February 2022. That’s how the world is now and it’s a shame Corrado is caught up in it.”
Shorebeat has contacted Royal Farms to determine a specific and planned opening date, and will report when information becomes available.