Adams Hometown Market says it will replace now-closed Big Y in Adams

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ADAMS — In a serendipitous outcome, Adams Hometown Market announced Wednesday that it plans to open a new location in the recently closed Big Y store on Myrtle Street.

Adams Hometown Market, a small chain with 13 locations primarily in Connecticut, made the announcement at a Select Board meeting.

"They are looking to get in; we're talking weeks," said Select Board Chairman John Duval.

Duval said the company has indicated that it will be searching for employees quickly, including among those who were laid off from the former Big Y, and town officials are working with company officials to make the transition of ownership as smooth as possible.

"We're very fortunate and very lucky that we have the Adams Hometown Markets," Duval said. "They are suited for the communities that aren't big enough to have a Stop and Shop or Big Y-type supermarket, but not small enough not to have any grocery store."

And the coincidence of the newcomer's name is not lost on Duval. "We were blown away when we were told the store will be called Adams Hometown Market," Duval said.

Big Y operated the only supermarket in Adams until closing its doors this week, after a week of steep discounts to liquidate its inventory. Big Y moved into the Myrtle Street storefront when it purchased the former Adams Supermarket chain in 1984.

But, citing the increasing consumer demand for additional goods and services like pizza and sushi, and the lack of space in the Myrtle Street store to provide them, executives at Big Y announced last month that the company would lay off about 90 employees and close the store while it works to sell the building to a new operator.

"When the announcement from the Big Y was made, the biggest concern of the board was the 90-plus positions that were going to be lost," Duval said.

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The announcement also left local officials concerned about access to groceries for local residents, many of whom lack transportation.

Starting Tuesday, seniors and disabled residents of Adams should be able to catch a shuttle to the Big Y in North Adams — at least on a limited basis.With the Adams store now closed, the company has reached a deal with the Adams Council on Aging to provide the free service.

"We're hoping we'll have a shuttle service for next week," said Erica Girgenti, director of the local senior organization.

While there are currently no set departure times — the agency said a schedule will be tailored to fit user demand — the shuttle is expected to run from 3 to 7 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. The agency is drafting a contract with Big Y.

In its announcement of the closure, Big Y stated that it "will be providing shuttle service from this location to their North Adams supermarket."

The Council on Aging's service will provide that link, but only to people older than 60 or to those who have a disability — a restriction based on the way the Council on Aging is funded.

For those who are not eligible for the Council on Aging rides, the Berkshire Regional Transit Authority's 1 bus route departs throughout the day, every day but Sunday, from Center Street in Adams and can be taken to Pittsfield or North Adams.

Big Y did not return a request for comment Tuesday, and on Wednesday, it referred a second request to the Council on Aging.

Adam Shanks can be reached at ashanks@berkshireeagle.com, at @EagleAdamShanks on Twitter, or 413-629-4517.


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