A Conventional Supermarket 'With A Little Twist' Coming To Shirley

SHIRLEY, NY —Gala Fresh will expand with a new location in Shirley within the next six months, General Manager Luis Correa said Thursday.

It has taken over the former spot that featured 5th Avenue Furniture, which has moved across the street next to Lidl.

The Gala Fresh franchise is family-owned by Aurora Group, which has two other locations on Long Island, including Riverhead and Baldwin. The group also owns Compare Foods in Patchogue.

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Altogether, there are around 30 of the franchises nationwide.

The Shirley location joins others in Boca Raton, which just opened, and one in West Palm Beach, which is due to open shortly.

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Signs were placed outside of the Shirley location last week to let area residents know about the expansion.

It will take around six months to re-wire the location because, although it once housed as a Best Market, the electric wiring and refrigeration set-up was removed to make way for the furniture store, according to Correa.

“We are putting everything in new, so that’s why it’s gonna take a little longer,” he said.

Gala Fresh is a “conventional supermarket” with all the departments a King Kullen or Stop and Shop would have, such as a grocery with produce, and deli, seafood, and meat counters with attendants, Correa said.

The only difference is that the staffers try to “bring food from all over the world to the store.”
“We have a big ethnic foods section,” he said. “When people go on vacation, when they travel to other lands, they get to try these dishes from other countries, and sometimes they really enjoy that, so they come back and try to look for the ingredients to prepare those dishes.”

“And that’s when they come to us,” he said, explaining that the store carries a large variety of imported foods — from Polish to central and South American, as well as Jamaican and African.

“We have all different types of foods,” he added.

Fish in the seafood department is purchased twice weekly from the Fulton Fish Market in lower Manhattan.

“Every time you come you’re going get fresh fish,” Correa said. “We have very knowledgeable people behind the counter that will cut the fish specified to what you’re looking for. We trim it. We cut the heads off, we scale it – full service.”

“It’s not prepackaged stuff that you just pick up and hope that it’s good,” he added.

The meats at the meat counter will also be available for custom cuts.

But what sets the store apart from others is its pricing, Correa said.

“We try to get the best quality at the best price; we’re known for that,” he said. “We have a very large following. I think it’s an underserved market as far as Mastic-Shirley is concerned. It’s really just your conventional King Kullen and Stop and Shop. I think we add a little twist to that with different foods from all over the world.”

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