Take a sneak peek at the new DeCicco & Sons in Eastchester
Rockland/Westchester Journal News
With all the closings happening during the pandemic, there’s some good news: DeCicco & Sons is opening another store — it’s 9th and third largest.
The new store, opening Friday in Eastchester, has been designed with safety in mind. It’s an important concept for the family-run grocer (not to be confused with DeCicco Family Markets) which plans more expansion, including opening in Bedford, in a Key Foods location that’s still being negotiated, and, in 2022 at The Edge, the new mixed use development in Sleepy Hollow.
SUBSCRIBER ONLY: Exclusive first look at Captain Lawrence Barrel House
MUST TRY SANDWICHES: 7 places for a Cubano
FILM FESTIVAL: Box office open for YoFiFest
The 30,000-square-foot store in Eastchester had been under construction before the pandemic hit, and was put on pause during a temporary halt in the spring.
Vice President and co-owner Chris DeCicco said the space had been the site of an Acme supermarket but had been completely gutted and reconfigured to fit the brand’s model.
“We have a recipe that works very well here in the Hudson Valley,” he said. “We live here ourselves, and we consider the locations we are moving into carefully. We know that our commitment to a quality first approach, married with exceptional service will resonate with these communities.”
The new store features heightened safety measures, including wide aisles, lots of plexiglass partitions, a 25% reduced capacity at all times and a new “deli concierge” for ordering sliced meats. It also means “no touch” ways to get prepared foods.
And, in keeping with the standards the company has already set, there are special shopping hours for seniors and immunocompromised individuals. The store was the first to work with OpenTable to allow for grocery store reservations.
“Safety is our top priority,” stressed co-founder John DeCicco, Sr. “Safety for our customers and safety for our employees.” Employees are regularly tested for COVID-19 on the company’s expense and daily temperature checks are required before anyone reports for work.
Customers in Eastchester can expect many of the same features that have made DeCicco & Sons’ other locations local favorites with devoted followings. That includes an onsite bar and pub featuring a burger and barbecue menu (with food ordered via a QR code should you want to sit at a table and dine), as well as a coffee and juice bar.
Exclusive to this store — and a first for the chain — is a “bowls” concept, allowing customers to choose a variety of proteins such as Mediterranean sirloin steak or pineapple teriyaki chicken, served over a choice of quinoa, Soba noodles, salad, rice, cauliflower rice or other bowl options.
Customers will see a large mozzarella machine from Italy behind glass in the store’s cheese section. (DeCicco’s makes mozzarella both with the machines and by hand.)
Chris DeCicco is also proud of the new “deli concierge” which allows shoppers to order their cold cuts at an order station, then pick up a few minutes later at a specialty pick up area. “We know that delis are traditionally where long lines form,” he said, “so we’re trying to eliminate that as much as we can.”
And, now that buffets are once again allowed, the DeCicco’s have a solution for that, too. “Everyone has to follow the rules,” said Chris DeCicco. “And that means sanitizing their hands right away. It’s one at a time and we have a dedicated employee at the buffet monitoring at all times.”
Other highlights include the store’s popular pre-prepared meals, on-site kitchen, ready-to-eat meals and their in-house bakery.
“Shopping in our stores is an experience our customers look forward to,” he added, and the pandemic has not derailed that level of service.
A recent survey by Influence Central noting trend shifts in eating habits showed 76% of consumers cooking more meals at home since the onset of COVID-19, meaning more grocery store shopping, both online and in person. And Chicago-based C&R shows consumers paying more for groceries than they did before the pandemic with an average weekly spend of $139.
And while the DeCiccos say their new safety measures are costly, they remain their primary focus.
When things return to normal, Chris DeCicco said they’ll have 28 lines of craft beer at the bar along with, for the first time ever, cocktails. The goal, he said, “is to keep the fun in your DeCicco & Sons visit.”
As for growing and expanding during a pandemic, Chris DeCicco said the growth is steady “but with a well controlled and managed approach.”
“The tireless commitment of our employees ultimately is a big part of that equation, and with them behind us, we know that our expansion will continue to be successful, and well received by customers.”
If you go
Address: 777 White Plains Road, 914-704-3220, deciccoandsons.com
Hours: 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday to Saturday; to 7:30 p.m. Sunday (Senior/Immunocompromised hour from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.)
And look for: New locations coming to the Key Food location in Bedford, though still under negotiation, and to The Edge at Sleepy Hollow, though not until 2022. Other locations are in Ardsley, Armonk, Brewster, Harrison, Larchmont, Millwood, Pelham, and Somers.
Read or Share this story: https://www.lohud.com/story/life/food/restaurants/2020/10/06/decicco-sons-opens-9th-market-eastchester-westchester/3529355001/