TRUMBULL -- It was with some surprise and much regret that local residents rushed to Porricelli's Food Mart on Saturday for its last day in business.
"This is the last day, oh wow," exclaimed Joe Vecchione, as he stopped at the White Plains Road store to pick up a few items. "It's quite a surprise."
The store's owners gave very little notice of the market's closing before putting up large yellow liquidation sale signs on the windows.
"It was no longer possible to keep the store operational and the assets have been turned over to the secure creditor," said company President Jerry Porricelli.
The store, one of three stores operated by the Porricelli family, opened in April 2002. The store in the Cos Cob section of Greenwich closed in 2009 and the Old Greenwich store was sold to Kings Food Markets in September 2012, Porricelli said. At that time, the family stated they had no plans to close the Trumbull store.
"We are so grateful to the people of Trumbull and all of our customers over the past 10 years for their business and support of the store. As a family-run business, we always treated our customers as family and worked hard to deliver on our promise, `Passionate about Food, Passionate about Service,' " Porricelli said in a prepared statement. "The store has had a lot of new competition over the past few years which has hurt our ability to be profitable, and despite our best efforts over the past six months, we have reached the conclusion that we can no longer continue to operate the store."
Store employees said they had been ordered by the owners not to talk to the media, but instead to refer to Porricelli's statement.
Elizabeth Cipriani, of Trumbull, said she had come to know all the store's employees and is now concerned there won't be any place that will treat seniors as well in the area. "I don't like that it is closing. It has been very handy for seniors in town," she said.
Patricia Moore, of Trumbull, said the store catered to individual needs in the community and will be missed.
But many shoppers said they were not surprised because they felt the store couldn't compete with the prices and variety offered by the larger chain supermarkets in the area.
"This is what happens when the big box stores take over," said Dennis Condon, of Monroe. "It's a sign of the times unfortunatly."
But at least one shopper said she was optimistic about the closing.
"It's sad they are closing," said Debbie Zabin, of Trumbull. "But I'm hoping it's replaced with a Trader Joe's."
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