Best Yet Market
|Headquarters||Bethpage, New York|
Number of locations
|President & CEO: Rebecca Philbert|
|Owners||Aviv and Eran Raitses|
Best Market is a family-owned, regional supermarket chain with 32 stores in New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey. The company is headquartered in Bethpage, New York and has been owned by the Raitses family since the company's first store opened in Lake Ronkonkoma, New York in 1994.
Best Yet Market, which operates many newer stores under its Best Market banner, focuses on fresh foods, especially produce, but also sells traditional grocery store items. Its stores typically have smaller overall footprints than competitors, and its offerings also include in-house traditional barbecue and large selections of craft beer in many stores.
Early Years, Produce Warehouse
Best Yet Market is a private, family-owned company. The business, which was founded as a small fruit and vegetable stand by the father of the current owners, expanded into a storefront produce store and, later, into the first Produce Warehouse in 1994.
Continuing its growth, the company opened up several more Produce Warehouse stores, focusing exclusively on New York and expanding from the outer boroughs of New York City into the suburbs of Long Island. It changed its name to Best Yet Market in 2002.
In 2005, Best Yet attempted a grocery delivery service in Manhattan that was ultimately unsuccessful. At the time, it competed with FreshDirect and Whole Foods Market, though Best Yet limited its offerings to the Upper East Side. Though the delivery service was short-lived, Best Yet would begin offering grocery delivery again in parts of Harlem beginning in 2010.
Best Yet opened a new flagship store in Harlem, New York in 2010, bringing the chain to Manhattan for the first time in the company's history and rectifying a shortage in fresh food offerings in the area, according to a New York City Department of City Planning survey. The Harlem store, which was funded in part with a million-dollar loan from the Upper Manhattan Development Zone, offers not only fresh produce, but also fresh meat and seafood departments, craft beer, and gourmet grocery products.
The 2011 opening of a store in East Patchogue, New York earned the chain praise from East Patchogue city officials for bringing a market featuring fresh produce to what had been designated a food desert by New York state officials.
Best Yet Market began the process of changing the name of its stores from Best Yet Market to Best Market in 2012. The process has only affected new openings to-date, but will be applied retroactively to re-brand previously existing stores over time. The company's first store outside New York, in Holmdel, New Jersey, opened in early 2012 as Best Market. Notably, the Holmdel Best Market dedicated 25% of its floor space to produce, and in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the store, powered by an emergency generator, opened to customers and donated most of its undamaged food to local residents impacted by the storm.
In 2013, the company expanded into a third state, opening a Best Market location in Newington, Connecticut. The Newington location offers traditional barbecue from an in-house smoker, expanding on a program first offered in its Harlem store. The Newington Best Market also includes an electric car charging station as part of an alliance with Connecticut Electric Car. The same year, the company's West Babylon location won the "Best Retro Design" award from Progressive Grocer in that magazine's annual Store Design Contest.
Beginning in 2015, Best Yet began purchasing former A&P locations in New York and Connecticut, including multiple Waldbaum's and Pathmark stores, as well as one former Food Emporium in Tribeca. These locations were opened under its Best Market banner, increasing the total number of the company's stores from 15 to 27. The company has indicated it will open at least four additional stores before the end of 2016.
Best Yet has instituted multiple green initiatives at its stores and Bethpage headquarters. It operates an all-hybrid vehicle fleet, including several electric vehicles, and offers car charging stations at some stores. Several store locations are partially powered by solar energy, including its Massapequa store, which relies exclusively on solar panels installed on the store's rooftop for its electricity.
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