Ribbon-cutting ceremony with Artie T. at 9 a.m.

By Heidi Creighton Ciampa

Correspondent

LITTLETON -- The shelves are fully stocked and the patriotic banners are neatly hung in preparation for Market Basket's newest, 73rd store to open in Littleton. The grand opening is this Saturday, Nov. 8, at 7 a.m. Arthur T. DeMoulas will preside over a ribbon cutting ceremony at 9 a.m.

"We are looking forward to opening our newest Littleton store this weekend in what we think is an underserved area in a mesmerizing location," said David McLean, Operations Manager, Market Basket. "This store will be the first Market Basket to feature our new product demo station, where customers may sample gourmet and healthy foods and see how they are prepared demonstration-style," he added. The grand opening flier will be an insert in all the local papers and features special discount prices that will be celebrated and honored at all Market Baskets. According to McLean, Market Basket will also maintain its 4 percent discount through Dec. 27, 2014.

The Littleton Market Basket currently employs 150 people and features a Café with seating, natural lighting throughout the store, an international cheese display with over 200 varieties of cheeses, an all-natural section, a huge inventory of health foods, and over 2,000 gluten-free items. Market Basket has an organic produce section and a large inventory of organic and health foods throughout the store.

"The largest growth area in the food business is in health/organic food offerings," explained McLean.


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"Our customers ask us for gluten-free options and organic and low-sodium offerings, in addition to foods high in antioxidants. We continually increase our inventory in these health food areas."

Littleton is the first Market Basket to boast a full-service, in-store butcher shop. The "Butcher Block" will offer fresh, hand cut meats. For sushi lovers, Market Basket has a fresh sushi bar through an exclusive partnership with Niji Sushi. Market Basket customers may order sushi "to go" and it will be prepared fresh by trained sushi chefs.

The new Market Basket store in Littleton buys produce and floral products from local farms when in season, and participates in an organic waste recycling program. Market Basket is committed to its eco-friendly recycling program and recycles all of its cardboard, plastic and even shrink wrap to help save energy and protect the environment.

According to McLean, Market Basket is on target to open three more stores in the near future -- Waltham in November, and Athol and Attleboro in the beginning of 2015. Market Basket grocery stores may be found in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine.

In addition to Market Basket opening in The Point complex in Littleton, several other new stores and eateries have signed leases, including Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt and Starbucks which will open in January 2015.

According to the developer, Sam Park of Sam Park & Company, there will also be five restaurants opening this spring. These include a high end Asian restaurant, a seafood and steakhouse, a Tex-Mex concept and Tavern in the Square, an American pub concept popular in Cambridge and Boston.

The Point will also have an O'neil Cinema, a hi-tech movie entertainment center with a 10-screen theater in 40,000 square feet of space. The movie theater will be under construction beginning in the spring of 2015 and will be open to the public by early spring of 2016. It will feature state-of-the-art digital projection and sound systems as well as tiered stadium seating. The Point is also under agreement with a hotel developer to build a Marriott Courtyard, a 100-room hotel.

"Our biggest challenge has been convincing national retailers to recognize the strength of this market at the crossroads of Routes 119 and 495 which boasts a day population rivaling that of Route 128," said Park. "Our primary grand opening for The Point will be late winter or early spring 2015. Market Basket is ahead of us with their grand opening, and they remain one of the greatest operators we have ever done business with."