EASTCHESTER, N.Y. – For nearly 30 years, DeCicco Family Markets in Eastchester has been to go-to stop for residents looking to buy their groceries locally.
Now, after 27 years of battling with supermarket conglomerates such as Stop & Shop and ShopRite, the DeCicco family is forced to close the doors at its Chester Heights location on the Eastchester-Bronxville border at the end of the month.
The DeCiccos currently own eight markets in Westchester County from Scarsdale to Armonk. It also has one in Rockland County and one in Orange County, with its largest, a 30,000-square-foot market, in the Putnam County town of Southeast.
Susan Miele, executive director of the Bronxville Chamber of Commerce, said patrons are upset that the New Rochelle Road location will soon be closed.
“Residents of Chester Heights, the Eastchester neighborhood on the edge of Bronxville, are in a tizzy upon learning of the impending closing of their beloved local supermarket, DeCicco,” she said.
Will Haugh, who said his family has shopped at DeCiccos about every two weeks for years, echoed the Chamber of Commerce’s disappointment in losing the family-operated market.
“It’s a shame really, and I know I’m going to miss it,” he said. “We’ll just have to go a little farther to one of their other stores.”
Each of the DeCicco Family Market locations are owned and operated by members of the DeCicco family.
Owner Joe DeCicco and his brothers, John and Frank, got started in a small storefront in the Bronx in the 1970s. Today, in addition to the Chester Heights location the Westchester stores are in Ardsley, Armonk, Cross River, Harrison, Jefferson Valley, Pelham and Scarsdale,
Despite adding a prepared food bar several years earlier and overhauling their dairy and produce sections, the Chester Heights store simply couldn’t maintain profitability against the larger chain supermarkets.
“Recent arrivals of the likes of Fairway in Pelham, Fresh Market in Eastchester, Whole Foods in Ridge Hill and an expansive ShopRite in New Rochelle have added to the competition that already existed from yet other neighboring supermarkets, thus detracting would-be shoppers from their friendly neighborhood grocer,” Miele added.
According to the Chamber of Commerce, a CVS will take over the soon-to-be vacant 7,500-square-foot storefront. All 60 employees of the Chester Heights location have been accepted for new jobs at other DeCicco markets.
Joe DeCicco could not be immediately reached for comment, but shoppers expressed disappointment that he would be moving on to his other business ventures.
“It’s good that there’s more of them around, but why do we need another CVS? There’s one in every town already,” said Ozzie Beeward, of Mount Vernon. “This is just another case of the little guy being pushed out by a big company.”