Friday, February 13, 2009

Giant to open 2nd Allegro store tomorrow

Word came out earlier Friday that Allegro Vineyards will be opening a shop tomorrow at the Giant Food Store in Silver Spring Township in central Pennsylvania, which is Mechanicsburg for out-of-towners looking on a map. This is Allegro's second shop in Giant; the other one opened in mid-November in Enola. It's also the fourth wine shop overall to open essentially inside a Giant. Blue Mountain Vineyards & Cellars has opened the other two, one in South Hanover Township in Dauphin County, and the other in Willow Grove, a suburb of Philadelphia.

Carl Helrich, the owner and winemaker of Allegro, said he's thrilled to open another shop and ride the momentum that has been gained by the success of his shop in Enola. The decision to go in to Mechanicsburg, he said, was one that involved both partners.

"We put our heads together on these things," he said, when asked how they've decided on the locations for the two shops. "I want to be up in the Harrisburg market, and this is a great place. Mechanicsburg has a lot of wine drinkers and a lot of our customers actually come from the Mechanicsburg, Camp Hill area. And we've got a developed market base from having the West Shore Farmers Market. So having something over in Enola, which is a real high-volume store for them, and of course Mechanicsburg here is another high-volume store. It's a perfect fit for us."

Helrich was there throughout Friday, making final preparations for tomorrow's opening. The shop will be open Monday through Thursday from noon to 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m.

“Today’s announcement continues Giant’s commitment to promoting quality products found right here in Pennsylvania’s own back yard,” said Tracy Pawelski, director of public and community relations, Giant Food Stores.

The Allegro wine list will showcase more than 20 different wines with a wide range of wine styles from dry red and white vinifera wines to versatile semi-dry table wines, fruit wines and specialty spiced and dessert wines. Allegro wines range in price from $11 per bottle to $35 per bottle. All wine sales will occur in the Allegro location with Allegro staff.

Helrich said he has hired eight staffers now who will be cross-trained to work at the two Giants shops and the farmers market. Those working in Mechanicsburg will occupy a space that's a little smaller than the one in Enola, although Helrich said the bar area is bigger, "so we can handle more people tasting, if need be."

Helrich said he wasn't aware of any other wineries opening shops inside a store in the grocery chain, which has its corporate headquarters in Carlisle, Pa. "This is a pilot program for Giant. Joe and Vickie Greff over at Blue Mountain have two of these as well, and [Giant] wants to see if we're [and they're] happy with these before they commit to opening up any more stores to this kind of project. We'll see. But I do know this has been a successful three months for us, at least over at the Enola location."

No comments: