Knock Your Socks Off Shoprite
The new Kinsley ShopRite opened Sunday morning at 8 and we went down for a visit mid-day. Big may not be the right word, but it’s a good start. You could park a blimp inside this cavernous 95,000 square foot extravaganza of groceries. It is huge.
I’ll start with pricing, since that’s what concerns many shoppers most. If you’re seeking bargains, you might be disappointed. Yes, they have quite a few opening week specials, but for the most part this is standard ShopRite pricing. They use the same flyer that most Pennsylvania ShopRites use. They have an additional booklet with specials and coupons for the grand opening period, but this store’s main draw isn’t going to be about price; it’s all about selection.
Opening day was like a food store celebration. Outside, folks were lined up for free pushcart hot dogs. Inside, uniformed employees carrying trays of snacks and hors d’oeuvres as well as cookies and tiny cakes circulated among the shoppers, encouraging them to take what they wanted. The atmosphere was surprisingly festive for a supermarket.
One of the big strengths of the store is sure to be its prepared foods. You can help yourself or be served, pay at the counter and eat in the little café area or take your food upstairs to an area that overlooks the shopping floor. There’s a Chinese section, with noodle and rice dishes, shrimp, chicken, beef and pork preparations, egg rolls, dumplings, crab rangoons and chicken-on-a-stick. Next to that is a Japanese area with all sorts of fresh made sushi packed up or made to order. There’s an American food section with barbecue and comfort foods that promise to vary by the day. Overhead is a large menu board announcing the 8 to 10 dishes that will be available on each day of the week. There’s also a wing section with varied types of cooked chicken wings.
If you like cheese, especially exotic hard-to-find (at least in the Poconos) varieties, you’ll think you’re in Heaven. They had any type of cheese I could think of, and I can think of a lot. Want blueberry Stilton? They’ve got it. How about chipotle Cheddar? Got that, too. Unless you’re a world class expert, you’ll find cheeses you never heard of. They even have a ‘mammoth provolone,’ so big it hangs from the ceiling and looks like it weighs as much as a VW beetle.
I thought the seafood was rather standard compared to these other sections. They have all the right stuff, the 10 kinds of salmon, the cod filet, the tilapia, the flounder, swordfish, shark and so on. Lots of shellfish, including whole cooked crabs and boxes of cooked crab claws. But if you’re seeking more unusual fare, grouper, Chilean sea bass, Gulf redfish, things like that, you’ll be disappointed. Maybe as time goes on they’ll become more adventurous, but for now they seem to be playing safe with the fish card.
The meat section was large and interesting. Pick a type of meat – lamb, veal, beef, pork, turkey or chicken and they have almost every variety. Take lamb, for instance. They had legs, whole and boneless, chops, loin or rib, racks, ground and more. Pork chops came in the standard cut, but the thick cut were more than an inch thick and quite well-trimmed. And there were many, many types of steaks and roasts in the beef section, all reasonably priced if not especially cheap.
The store was so mobbed we never got to the aisles. Wide as they are at eight feet, there were just so many shoppers each was a chore to navigate. So, we stuck pretty much to the perimeter, and still had a most interesting shopping experience. I’ll go back for a closer look at the aisles and frozen foods later in the week when the crowds may shrink somewhat. And I’ll let you know what I find.
To get to the new Kinsley ShopRite, take Long Pond Rd to Kuhenbeaker. Go left onto Kuhenbeaker and continue to the end, Rte 115. Go left at 115 and drive 7.5 miles. As you approach that mileage you’ll be going up a hill with a Jehovah’s Witness Meeting Hall on your right and then an elder care facility. At that corner turn right (the street has no name sign) and you will find yourself looking about ½ mile down the hill at the ShopRite building to your immediate right.