Best Market in Montville closes suddenly

Montville Best Market grocery store on Route 32 ceased operations as of Wednesday.

Best Market Vice President of Marketing and Advertising Jonathan Sender in a news release stated that the company had entered into a short-term lease in April in order to explore the feasibility of the store with the intention of purchasing the shopping center from the current landlord.

“However, negotiations to purchase the property had come to a head and no agreement could be reached. The lease to operate the store ends on (Jan. 31) and thus the company had to close the store as soon as practicable,” the press release stated.

The store is located in a plaza owned by Lawall Realty, which is based in Cheshire, according to the Secretary of the State’s website.

Best Market is headquartered in Bethpage, N.Y., and has 20 stores in New York, Connecticut and New Jersey, according to the company’s website.

Best Way called employees to the front of the store around 10 or 10:30 a.m. Wednesday and told them about the store closing, according to Waterford resident Dan Brockway.

Brockway identified himself in an email as the now-former frozen foods/dairy manager of the Best Market in Montville. He said the store closed its doors immediately after that meeting.

“Put all these good people out of jobs just because you don’t own the plaza? Why not just lease the store again? It comes at a very unfortunate time because the store was beginning to really get its feet under it. We were having new faces coming in every week. Sales were growing and there was nowhere to go but up,” Brockway wrote via email.

He said he had previously worked at Tri-Town Foods in East Lyme and Uncasville. He said that when the Uncasville Tri-Town location closed, employees received more than a month’s notice.

“Just shows you the difference between a company who cares about its employees and a company that does not. Very unfortunate. I feel especially bad for the fathers and mothers who were employed there who have their children to take care of,” he wrote.

A town resident informed the town clerk of the closing earlier Wednesday; Mayor Ronald McDaniel said he later heard it from an employee.

McDaniel said the closing was disappointing, and he was sorry to see Best Market go.

“It was a good market, and it was a good employer,” he said.

Users of a community forum on Facebook devoted to Montville also voiced disappointment over losing the grocery store and sympathy for its employees.

“The company truly appreciates the support of the community and our dedicated team members in embracing Best Market over these last few months,” read the Best Market news release.

A representative of Lawall Realty did not respond to an email about the closing by press time.

t.townsend@theday.com

Twitter: @ConnecticuTess

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