It’s lucky 13 for up-Island Cronig’s, which is scheduled to reopen for the first time in more than a year on April 26 with new coolers, new lighting, new checkout stands, and fresh stock.
“I’m totally excited. It will be 13 months and 13 days that we’ve been closed,” Cronig’s owner Steve Bernier told The Times. “It’s been a long time. Everybody’s excited. Everybody’s nervous. We’re trying to put bows up. We’ve rebuilt the package.”
The store closed March 13, 2020, at the time when Gov. Charlie Baker asked people to stay at home and put restrictions on businesses. Bernier consolidated his staff and his stock, and concentrated on the down-Island store.
There was a buzz at the down-Island store Monday as word spread that the up-Island store would be opening later this month.
It’s been an eventful 13 months for Bernier and his crew. Bernier got COVID-19, and was airlifted to a Boston hospital. Three weeks ago, Bernier had heart surgery and is recovering, he said.
Several Cronig’s employees also got COVID, as did some of their family members, as the store was one of several clusters on the Island during the pandemic.
As for up-Island Cronig’s, Bernier said the store is in the process of being stocked in preparation for the reopening. A lack of staff remains an issue, but he said it’s time to get the supermarket in West Tisbury open for business. He thanked his customers for their patience. “We’ve got a bit of a balancing act and homework to do. We don’t have enough help, but we need to do both stores. Make it work,” Bernier said.
Being closed allowed for significant renovations to the up-Island store, Cronig’s systems director Brynn Schaffner told The Times. “All of the stuff that we’ve done to the interior is stuff we’ve wanted to do and get done for years now,” Schaffner said. “When the store was closed and it was going to stay closed, it was a really good idea to get everything else done.”