Brick residents, at town hall meetings and online forums, often ask officials when new businesses will be opening in town. And while elected officials and employees at town hall keep tabs on development projects, the dealings of a private business are, well, private.
There is some news on two long-planned businesses in town that have gone unopened despite significant construction and renovation work: Royal Farms on Route 70, and the Corrado’s Supermarket planned for the Laurel Square shopping plaza, located between routes 70 and 88.
This week, during a question-and-answer period hosted by Mayor John Ducey on Facebook, the questions were brought up as usual – and the mayor had some updates.
First, the good news: Royal Farms.
“It will be open sometime in December,” Ducey said.
Royal Farms is estimating the new store will open either Dec. 11 or Dec. 15, though those dates are subject to change. The Brick location is the first in Ocean County and the Shore area as a whole, meaning an entire new staff had to be recruited and trained. For competing businesses such as Wawa, new locations can be staffed with employees from other stores temporarily – a luxury the newcomer to the market did not have. A national labor shortage has stymied efforts of businesses to recruit employees.
“They’re going to open without the number of employees they were looking for,” Ducey said. “They just need to get open, and they’re opening in the middle of [next] month.”
Royal Farms, known for its fried chicken and other freshly-made fare, will compete with Wawa and Quick-Chek, which have similar automated ordering systems and fresh designs with adjacent gas stations.
The matter of Corrado’s is a bit more complicated, and the store will not be opening “anytime soon,” Ducey said.
The supermarket has been long-slated to open in the space once occupied by the Pathmark supermarket before its parent company went bankrupt in 2015. Corrado’s is a family-owned supermarket chain that operates several stores in North Jersey. In addition to traditional items found in any supermarket, the company specializes in offering homemade Italian food. Corrado’s also purchased a liquor license for its Brick location and is planning to operate a liquor store with a large wine selection. Its locations in other parts of the state host wine clubs and other pairing events.
Locals will have to wait for some time before being able to shop there, however, as another national crisis – supply chain gridlock – has pushed back the opening for more than a year.
“They cannot get shelves,” Ducey said. “They can’t open without them. As far as refrigeration units, there’s nothing happening with that until ‘I don’t know when.’”
Indeed, the business is facing many of the same obstacles as residents, with higher stakes.
“Just for myself, we ordered furniture in February, and they told us it would be here right before Halloween,” the mayor shared. “Then on Halloween they told us Dec. 10 and now they told us February of 2022. It’s the way the world is now and it’s a shame Corrado’s is caught up in that.”
Shorebeat has reached out to Royal Farms to ascertain the specific, planned grand opening date, and will report back when the information is available.