The Bottino family has been serving the Vineland community since 1999, when it took over operation of an existing supermarket. The family’s vision of excellence and commitment to the community motivated them to partner with the City of Vineland to create a redevelopment plan for an abandoned and dilapidated auto salvage yard.
With financing from Susquehanna Bank and National Co-Op Bank, the Bottinos leveraged the federal New Markets Tax Credit program – established by Congress in the year 2000 to spur new or increased investments into operating businesses and real estate projects in low-income communities – to construct a $25-million, 88,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art supermarket/retail center. As intended, this project has significantly impacted redevelopment of the city’s west side commercial corridor.
Working with the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, the Bottino’s made sure that this new store met the objectives of the NJ Fresh Foods initiative, bringing healthy food choices to an underserved market. In addition, back-up generators were installed at the store, ensuring continuous operation to the area in an emergency or natural disaster.
In spite of its size, this new supermarket maintains a neighborhood grocery store feel. A key feature of the spacious and well-organized Shop-Rite is the produce and fresh food section that welcomes shoppers as they enter the store. There are impressive bakery, deli, seafood and meat sections, as well as a comfortable dining area within the store. In addition to the destination grocery store, the development also includes a RiteCare community health center, additional retail units and several pad sites for further development.
The entire Vineland area now benefits from a newly-designed and larger supermarket with better access and parking, which, in turn, helps the city economically. More than 200 jobs were retained in the area and many local contractors, including some 200 construction workers, participated in the site’s development. By attracting additional traffic to the corridor, this new store also is boosting other neighboring businesses.
Dawn S. Hunter, Executive Director
Chamber of Commerce