St. John residents and tourists can soon look forward to browsing the shelves at the new Starfish Gourmet and Wines — and just in time for high season. The store is expected to open November 5.
Construction at the gourmet store, which will offer wines, specialty cheeses, coffees, teas and other items, is moving along right on schedule, according to Andy Arnold of Carlson Construction, the contractor working on the project.
“We have to install the displays, and barring any holdups in shipping, we should have the refrigerator cases and chandeliers here this week,” said Arnold.
The biggest delay in the project was waiting for the tile, which had to be cut specifically to alleviate noise caused by shopping carts rolling over the floor, Arnold explained.
Moving from Market
Starfish Market’s wines and cheeses will be moved across the hall of the first floor of The Marketplace to the new gourmet store beginning October 22, according to Vice President of Development for Mugar Enterprises Tracy Lussier.
“There will be a lot of activity that week as we set product on the shelves and really work with our vendors,” said Lussier.
“Several of our vendors and wholesalers are coming down to help us set up the store.”
Additional offerings at Starfish Market are still being discussed, Lussier continued.
“There’s a lot of opportunity to grow in many different areas,” she said. “We could expand our dairy, or do more with our produce. We have to do one thing at a time right now, so we’ll be looking at that a lot more closely as we go forward.”
Larger Selection of Wines
Starfish Gourmet and Wines will offer a larger selection of wines than has been previously offered at Starfish Market, and the new gourmet store will sell specialty cheeses and international foods.
“I’ve been reviewing the product list, and every time I do, I get hungry,” said Lussier. “We’ll have a lot of international food, frozen gourmet pizzas, pastas, and things we haven’t really had on St. John before, like preserves, truffles, spices you wouldn’t normally find on the island and other high-end cooking ingredients.”
The new gourmet store will appeal to foodies and those who enjoy entertaining, but not all the fuss of creating appetizer plates, Lussier continued.
“Starfish Gourmet and Wines is for people who really love to cook and who love to experiment with food, and also for people who just want easy entertaining,” Lussier added. “People who want to have friends over without going through a big dinner preparation can get frozen hors d’ouevres and heat them up.”
The new gourmet store will offer a larger beverage selection than currently offered at Starfish Market, including juices, teas, sodas and coffees. Starfish Gourmet and Wines will be unlike any other store, explained Lussier.
“It’s not like I could say it’s just like a specific store, because we’re developing it based on what we think the needs of St. John are,” she said. “I think it’s going to be a great addition to Starfish Market, and it’ll be easy to get from one to the other. It’s a great opportunity, and I think people will really enjoy it.”
Wine Tastings Planned
Wine tastings will be featured at Starfish Gourmet and Wines, and famed local chef Ted Robinson is working with the store on food selections, and compiling recipes using ingredients found at the store.
Starfish Market owner David Mugar, a self-proclaimed foodie, is highly anticipating the opening of the new gourmet store, he explained.
“With our expansion of Starfish Market through the new Starfish Gourmet and Wines, we can give our customers a wider selection of wines and spirits and focus on specialty foods,” said Mugar. “For us foodies who love to cook, entertain and experiment with food, being able to buy unique and hard to find items will be terrific.”
“This will also free up shelf space in Starfish Market and give the mother store an opportunity to expand its supermarket product lines to better serve the community,” Mugar added.
Details of a grand opening party at Starfish Gourmet and Wines will be announced at a later date, according to Lussier.