| G. Michael Dobbs
SPRINGFIELD – The future of Pride stores can be seen at its new location at 1110 Wilbraham Road, according to the company’s CEO Robert Bolduc.
Bolduc recently hosted Mayor Domenic Sarno and the media at an official opening of the new store, which is the largest in the area.
The company first tried out the new format with its Hadley location and replaced a small store at the Springfield location with the new one.
Bolduc said the new store reflects what customers want. He noted the store has an electric car charging station as well as gas pumps. The new store is 4,500 square feet and created 25 jobs.
When asked about the cost, Bolduc said it was in the “millions.”
Inside there is a small convenience shop area, but a much greater food presence. Besides a number of items that are made fresh at the Pride kitchen, there is a Subway, a pizza shop, Chester’s fried chicken, and a full grill offering freshly made breakfast and lunch items. There is also a deli area and a large cold beverage section.
Bolduc’s goal is to remodel as many of his existing stores as he can to meet this new standard.
“We’d like to make them all like this,” he added.
He noted that his Pride stores used to be “gas stations that sold food. Now they are food stores that sell gas.”