NORTH HAVEN — It won’t be open to the public for another couple of weeks, but Ferraro’s Market is back and better than ever.
Members of the Ferraro family gave local officials and vendors a sneak peek at the new store on Friday. Scheduled to open by the end of the month, the market’s new home is located next to Target in the North Haven Pavillion shopping center on Universal Drive North.
Peter Ferraro, who runs the store along with his brothers, John and Mark, and sister-in-law Nancy, said he never dreamed the day would would come when the iconic market would have left its location on New Haven’s Grand Avenue.
“I figured I would be retired before that happened,” Ferraro said. “But things change and it was time to try something new.”
The new, 6,400-square-foot supermarket is less than half the size of the Grand Avenue location that the Ferraro family shut down just after Christmas last year. Peter Ferraro said the new market will focus on what it is best known for — different cuts of meat — and stock fewer grocery items.
“There’s no way I could stock enough grocery items to compete with a store like Target anyway,” he said. “So I hope people will come here to buy their meats and go to Target for their groceries.”
The opening of Ferraro’s in a space formerly occupied by Payless Shoes fills one of the vacancies in the North Haven Pavilion. Another vacancy will be filled this summer when a Massachusetts-based Mexican restaurant, Torito, opens in the former Ruby Tuesday location at the northern end of the shopping center.
First Selectman Mike Freda said he prides himself in taking a hands-on approach to economic development; he drove Peter Ferraro all over North Haven before Ferraro settled on the Universal Drive North location.
“It’s too important to the economic future of this community not to have the chief executive officer of the town involved,” he said.
Once the North Haven opening is completed, Peter Ferraro said the family will turn its attention to reopening a satellite location in Madison. The Madison storefront was one of several drop-off locations the family had opened in recent years where suburban customers could order meat online and then pick it up closer to their homes.
“The Madison location hasn’t been open for a while because we haven’t had any place to cut the meat,” Peter Ferraro said. There is meat-cutting equipment in the rear of the new market, he said.
Ferraro said one advantage of the suburban North Haven location is that customers who moved from New Haven to the suburbs might begin shopping at the market again.
“I imagine we’ll also get new customers who weren’t aware of where we were located before,” he said.
The family still owns the Grand Avenue, Peter Ferraro said. That space wasn’t vacant long, with a pair of brothers from Brooklyn, N.Y., opening Meat King Farms in late December.
The brothers, Orlando and Fernando Cepeda, were among those attending Friday’s sneak peek.