A new era is in the making for the venerable grocery store in the Bantam village center.
On April 4, Big Value Supermarket on Route 202 will become The Bantam Market. under ownership of David and Deborah Brenner.
The Brenners, owners of Northville Market in New Milford, have plans to transform the traditional grocery to a reflection of their popular Northville location.
First on the agenda will be a remodeling of Bantam's deli. New equipment will be installed, including baking ovens not presently on site.
The deli's chef will stay on and oversee a new line of prepared foods, salads and meat offerings.
"The present chef, Domenic, is in training with Madeline (Leonard) at Northville Market to learn her recipes and style of food preparation," said Mrs. Brenner.
"We only know one way to do things -- to provide quality products with excellent service," she added. "On April 4, we will close the Bantam store for up to 48 hours for training of the present staff and restocking and reorganizing the market."
Big Value Supermarket is being purchased from Stephen Canciani.
Mr. Canciani and his partner Link Jones bought the store in 1968 from Al Peske and renamed it Big Value Supermarket.
Its reputation was built on offering great meats for low prices. The store underwent a $1 million renovation in 2008 after the roof collapsed in September of that year.
The Brenners plan further renovations, including the deli kitchen renovation.
"Whatever is presently working, we'll keep. What isn't working, we'll change," Mrs. Brenner said. "Shoppers are going to find typical grocery items, with new specialty and natural products and items for people with food allergies."
Gluten-free, alternative grain products will be available, as well as non-dairy foods.
At Northville, staff will walk a customer with food allergies through the store and point out items suitable to their diets.
Bantam Market will offer the same service, said Mrs. Brenner.
George Lidback of Warren is a longtime shopper at Big Value Supermarket. He was excited to learn the Brenners are taking ownership of the grocery store.
"I also shop at Northville Market now and just heard last week that the Brenners are buying the Bantam store," Mr. Lidback said Monday. "I'll continue to patronize both stores. I like the quality of the items the Brenners carry."
The Brenner family has owned the Northville Market for more than 30 years. In 1998, David and Deborah Brenner bought the store from Mr. Brenner's parents when they retired.
"We took Northville Market in a new direction at that time," Mrs. Brenner said Monday. "We'll be doing the same with Bantam Market."