Amazon, Whole Foods & a little guy

WEST HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Hall’s Market is a little corner grocery store and bakery on Park Road in West Hartford. News of the merger between Whole Foods and Amazon doesn’t concern them. They started out as a “Mom & Pop Shop” back in the 1930’s and now it is a brother and sister run, third generation market and bakery. To them, Amazon and Whole Foods are the new kids on the block. They’re not worried about them. Shopper Steve Sklar agrees.

“I don’t think it is going to affect Hall’s Market at all. Hall’s Market is a store in itself. It’s a community market,” Sklar said.

David Gurski of West Hartford has been shopping at the little corner store on Park Road for more than 20 years.

“It’s very nice to walk into a place where they physically know you and call out your name. ‘Hi David. Good to see you again,” he said.

At Hall’s Market, they say the bigger the box store, the better. With two giants like Amazon and Whole foods coming together, they can’t manage fresh food and customer service with robots. At Hall’s Market, co-owner Jennifer Hettrick says they continuously check fruits and vegetables and meats for freshness. They also know most of their customers by name, which is the way they’ve been doing business for decades.

“We have been open since 1935. My brother and I are the third generation to own the store. It has changed a lot over the years, but at the same time, it has the same community feel that it always had,” she said.

Fresh baked bread from their bakery next-door, hand-cut meat and fish and homemade foods like turkey burgers with feta and spinach in them are some of the market’s specialties. Hettrick says Hall’s Market has changed, but not to keep up with the big box stores, but instead to keep up with a busy, family lifestyle.

“They want foods that are ready to cook, things that are already cooked, salads that are made fresh every day so they can feel good serving that to their family,” she said.

Shoppers believe stores like Stop & Shop and Costco may have to keep an eye over their shoulder on Amazon and Whole Foods because there’s only so much room for the big guys. The little guys, though, will always meet the needs of the community.

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