At 11 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 13, the long-awaited fate of Waldbaum’s was sealed. The proposed bid from Best Market to acquire the grocery store at 40 Great Neck Rd. was accepted by a federal bankruptcy judge and now it’s all legal. “Yes, the judge approved the bid from Best Market today,” said Alejandra Soto, representative for Best Market.
As A&P was closing, selling or auctioning off its remaining groceries as part of its Chapter 11 proceedings, no bids were accepted during the October auctions and the fate of the Great Neck Waldbaum’s was in limbo. According to sources familiar with the process, because Waldbaum’s parent company, A&P, was going through bankruptcy proceedings, the store was involved in a court supervised auction and the judge who oversees the process had to approve a fair bid. When the store didn’t receive an adequate bid, it was reentered into the auction process.
The Great Neck community was extremely upset as their main source for groceries was set to close on or around Nov. 22 and all merchandise and fixtures were being liquidated.
On Nov. 3, Bethpage-based Best Market’s bid for the Waldbaum’s on Great Neck Road was accepted, but the deal had to be finalized at the Nov. 13 hearing. Now that the deal is signed and sealed, the neighborhood can breathe a sign of relief.
“We are enthusiastic about the opportunity to serve Great Neck and look forward to bringing our fresh, healthy, ‘better for you’ brand to new customers,” said Rebecca Philbert, Best Market CEO and president. “We are confident that they will be excited by the transformation our stores represent.”
The private, family-owned regional supermarket chain currently operates 16 of its 20 stores on Long Island with the remainder throughout the tristate area—and just purchased an additional 10 groceries.
“Additional locations will result in further opportunities for advancement and growth, both for our current team members, who have named the company a Great Place to Work, and new team members who join the Best Market family,” said Philbert.
“Best Market focuses on fresh and locally grown foods, including produce, meat, full service seafood, deli products, dairy and bakery items, as well as traditional grocery items,” Philbert continued. “Best Market is deeply invested in the neighborhoods where our customers and team members live and work and is committed to playing an active role in the community, from supporting local firefighters at chili cook-offs, teaching healthy eating habits to young children through educational tours of our supermarkets, to participating in local fairs and family events. We like getting to know our neighbors so we can better serve their needs and we like giving back because it’s the right thing to do.”
According to Soto, each new store will be assessed and renovated to comply with Best Market standards. The acquisition of 10 new stores represents an enormous investment by the private company so, of course, it wants to transition the new stores as quickly as possible. The Great Neck Record will continue to update readers regarding the grand opening of Best Market on Great Neck Road.