The grand opening of the new Weis (pronounced “Wize”) Market on Route 739 in Dingmans Ferry was a real-life testament to that famous line from the film “Field of Dreams” (slightly amended): “If you build it, they will come.” And come they did.
The parking lot was full at the Nov 19 grand opening, and there was lot of excitement in the air. The community has waited more than three years for this much-needed addition to Dingmans Ferry, where the closest supermarkets are either in Lords Valley or Milford. People were remarking at the quality of food, the service, and the open feeling of this bright, well-lit 46,000-square-foot space.
“It almost feels like a Wegmans in Dingmans,” said Allison Taylor, a local resident. “I was so impressed, so happy, and so excited. They even have fresh fish!”
They also make fresh sushi, right before your eyes. Kim Aker Reno, another local, remarked, “I am usually a sushi snob, but I got a combo #3 and it was great. Every Wednesday, they have $5 rolls.” She was she was impressed by the cleanliness of the place, the “decent prices,” and the “huge variety.”
Karen Kontizas was delighted with the organic meats and vegetables. “They also have meats from The Alpine, a great selection of wines, and the staff is extremely polite, helpful, and very accommodating,” she said. The Alpine Wurst & Meat House in Honesdale is known throughout the region for its sausages, smoked ham, Kassler Rippchen, sauerbraten, and other German meats.
Amy Zimmerman, the store manager for the new Weis, has been working for Weis Markets for 25 years. This is the seventh store she has managed since 2011. Zimmerman was responsible for hiring and training about 145 full- and part-time workers and for building a team to deliver the exceptional service that people like Kontizas are so pleased with.
Dennis Curtin, director of public relations for Weis Markets, said the Dingmans Plaza store has a “full-service seafood department with lobster tank, a deli offering a wide selection of sliced meats and cheeses, as well as a heat-and-serve meal section, a natural foods store within the store, an Eastern European Cuisine section, a beer cave, and a wine café. The store also a full-service drive-through pharmacy, a Weis 2 Go Online ordering with curbside pick-up, and a Weis gas station, right on the premises.” The current price per gallon has encouraged the neighboring gas stations to lower their prices considerably.
The Nov. 19 celebration was billed as a Community Day. “It gives us a chance to give back to the community,” Zimmerman said. She presented a check for $1,500 each to the Dingmans Township Volunteer Fire Department and the Delaware Township Volunteer Fire Department. Other donations were given to the Holy Trinity Food Pantry and Delaware Valley School District. The Vietnam Veterans of America Tri-State Area Chapter 623 were present and their president and chaplain, John Kupillas gave the blessing to the new store.
Other dignitaries at the ceremony who have been very active in making this day possible were Ron Schmalzle and Matt Osterberg, Pike County Commissioners; Jane Neufeld and Rick Koehler, Delaware Township Supervisors; Michael Sullivan, Pike County Economic Development Authority; and Dave Chant, chair of Davis R. Chant Real Estate.
“This supermarket was long awaited and much needed,” Commissioner Schmalzle. “The Route 739 corridor is the most populated part of all of Pike County.”
Mike Sullivan said 60 percent of the 13 municipalities in Pike County are located along the 739 corridor, including the townships of Blooming Grove, Dingman, Delaware, and Lehman. “This area is growing tremendously,” he said. Sullivan works with the Pike County Commissioners, and together they are very active in promoting new businesses, jobs, and new taxable entities in the county.
Sullivan said there will be three more separate buildings in the Dingmans Plaza next to the Weis complex. One may be a bank, the other two may be fast food establishments. It is not definite yet. However, one thing is certain– the area is thriving, and with the notable new influx of New Yorkers, will probably continue to grow for a long time to come.
“It almost feels like a Wegmans in Dingmans. I was so impressed, so happy, and so excited. They even have fresh fish!” Allison Taylor