What is in this article?:
- Damage and Delays: One Chain's Hurricane Experience [Audio]
- Transcript: How Two Stores Recovered
George Zoitas, CEO of NYC grocery chain Westside Market, describes the damage Hurricane Sandy wrought upon his stores. Listen to the audio narratives below.
When Hurricane Sandy hit New York City and New Jersey the night of Monday, Oct. 29, many grocery stores, such as the family-owned Westside Market in Manhattan, experienced damage, delivery delays and disrupted operations throughout the week, at least, due to severe flooding and power outages.
The Zoitas family owns four Westside Market stores in Manhattan and Maywood’s Marketplace in Maywood, N.J. Chief Executive Officer George Zoitas talked to SN on site at his Chelsea store about the superstorm’s toll on that particular store and the one in Maywood.
Westside Market, Chelsea, NYC
The electric company Consolidated Edison’s substation on 14th Street on the east side of Manhattan exploded, taking out power for most of Manhattan below 39th Street until the following weekend. Westside Market’s Chelsea store, located at 14th Street and 7th Avenue, offers vast amounts of hot and cold prepared foods and gourmet cheeses, so the power outage forced Zoitas to dispose of all dairy and perishables. The market regained power sometime between Friday night or Saturday morning when most of the neighborhood's lights came back on.
The other three Westside Market stores, all on the Upper West Side, maintained regular hours — open 24/7 — throughout the week, despite challenges in getting employees to the stores.
Maywood’s Marketplace, Maywood, N.J.
Hurricane Sandy took out Zoitas’ Maywood, N.J., store for five days. Even after the store reopened, repairs were still being made to structural damage. In an area that loses power “more often than not,” said Zoitas, the N.J. store is vulnerable to future power outages. Zoitas told SN that he’s looking into generators to protect the perishables the next time a storm strikes.