Big Y opens in Old Saybrook

Old Saybrook — More than 100 people gathered outside the new Big Y Supermarket here this morning to celebrate the opening of the Massachusetts-based grocery chain’s 67th store.

Meanwhile, a few intrepid shoppers had already managed to sneak through the crowd to begin negotiating their way around the massive 54,300-square-foot store at the still-under-construction Max’s Place shopping center off Spencer Plain Road.

“I’m thrilled to see we’re having more options,” said Donna Dunn, one of the first people through the doors. “I’m hoping it will keep prices more competitive.”

Dunn said she regularly shopped at the Big Y in Old Lyme because of the higher prices at the town’s Stop & Shop.

“Especially in the summer, every penny counts,” she said. “I think we need to have a competitive edge.”

Outside the store, company officials and town politicians praised the cooperation that led to Big Y’s arrival in town.

“It only took 10 years,” joked First Selectman Carl Fortuna, alluding to plans for the chain to build a store in Old Saybrook back in 2007.

The $9 million store will employ a total of 140. It is the sixth store on the shoreline between Branford and Mystic.

“We strive to be the best — that’s our goal,” said Charles D’Amour, the company’s president, during the grand opening ceremonies.

Next door to Big Y, a Kohl’s department store is in the offing, scheduled to open Sept. 21. Across the way, an ULTA cosmetics store is well under way, and a separate building in the complex just in the framing stage is expected to host a pet store, ice cream retailer, hair salon and restaurant.

Big Y will be open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.

“We welcome you with open arms today,” said State Sen. Art Linares, R-33rd District. “Thank you very much for taking on this challenge.”

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