Danbury, Norwalk’s household name behind new Bethel grocery store

On the heels of Caraluzzi opening a new wine store in Wilton, surprise competition has surfaced at another location it recently left in Bethel – a grocery store to compete with nearby Caraluzzi’s Bethel Food Market. .

In the works for a year, workers complete finishing and stocking shelves at La Placita Bethel Market at 289 Greenwood Ave. less than a mile south of Danbury. The new store has yet to announce a target opening date.

The store’s produce basket logo is identical to that of La Placita Fresh Market in New Rochelle, NY, which offers both mainstream groceries and foods from Mexico, Peru, Colombia, Guatemala , Argentina and Ecuador, among others, including herbs and cheeses from Latin America. , and fresh bread and cooked dishes.

According to a commercial brokerage listing, more than 4,000 homes and apartments in Bethel and Danbury are located within a mile of the square.

In a filing with the Connecticut Secretary of State’s office, La Placita Bethel Market lists Wilson Narvaez as its principal and mailing address at a CTown supermarket in Peekskill, NY, which Narvaez operates. Narvaez could not be reached on Tuesday for details about the new Bethel store.

On his LinkedIn page, Narvaez cites the goal of growing the family business into a national brand. CTown has independently operated sites in Danbury, Norwalk and Stratford on the Bridgeport line, as well as in Hartford and New Britain.

The La Placita name was used by a number of small grocery stores and neighborhood convenience stores, including in Bridgeport, New Haven, Norwalk, and Stamford. The Secretary of State recently released incorporation documents for another La Placita grocery store in Norwalk.

Located just off Grassy Plain Street and owned since 2014 by Greenwich-based Urstadt Biddle Properties, the Place Bethel Hub Center includes a RiteAid pharmacy and a handful of smaller tenants. After closing its doors at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Bethel Cinema next door is nearing a grand reopening under new ownership.

Caraluzzi’s Wine & Spirits occupied the 14,000 square foot space in La Placita for a long time before moving into a newly constructed building adjacent to Caraluzzi’s Bethel Market at the opposite end of Greenwood Avenue. The business dates back to 1949 in Bethel.

Prior to Caraluzzi’s Wine & Spirits, the former supermarket chain Finast had a location at the Bethel Hub Center.

“The clientele here is quite loyal to the Caraluzzi family and they run a pretty good operation,” said Matt Knickerbocker, first coach. “It’s a great addition to downtown Bethel – [La Placita] has a particular attention in terms of the clientele to which they are addressed. »

Caraluzzi’s is used to direct competition – or Newtown, face to face, with its store located opposite a Big Y World Class Market. Another Caraluzzi supermarket is under construction in Danbury, just off Interstate 84 on Mill Plain Road, which will rival nearby Stop & Shop, Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods stores.

In December, Caraluzzi’s opened its last liquor store in a former Chase bank branch adjacent to its Georgetown store on Route 7 at the crossroads of Redding, Wilton, Weston and Ridgefield. Weston town center is set to reincarnate the old Peter’s Market as Lily’s Weston Market, as reported in August by weston today.

Includes earlier reports by Kendra Baker and Rob Ryser.

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