Caraluzzi’s expands and evolves for changing tastes

At Caraluzzi's Georgetown Market, you will soon be able to relax in a café before grocery shopping, have a cappuccino and pastry, and then pick up a chef-prepared meal and maybe a bouquet of flowers at a full-service floral shop before heading home.

Caraluzzi's Georgetown Market at 920 Danbury Road is reconfiguring its look and expanding into space acquired from the former location of the Yankee Doodle Stove store — which has moved to 848 Danbury Road.

"We are expanding our space here by about 6,000 to 7,000 square feet," said Mark Caraluzzi, president and CEO of Caraluzzi's Markets. "This will allow us to double the size of several of our departments, including produce, deli, bakery, and prepared foods, made by our chefs."

The expansion was done with an eye to changing tastes, he said. "People are eating more fresh fruits and vegetables, and they are also eating more prepared, or 'heat and eat' meals," Mr. Caraluzzi said. "We are offering prepared foods ranging from Italian entrees such as chicken parmesan to Indian and Asian cuisine."

The prepared food section will sit next to the deli and across from the soup island, giving the feel of a "food court," he said.

Another new feature for the store will be a café offering "cappuccino, espresso, gelato, pastries and panninis and Wi-Fi," said Mr. Caraluzzi, who also has stores in Bethel and Newtown.

A refrigerated walk-in flower shop will soon also greet customers at the front of the store. "It will have the look and feel of a real flower shop," he said.

A "full-service butcher counter and pastry case with fresh made cakes and pastries" will also be added by the expansion, Mr. Caraluzzi said. "All the baking is done on the premises."

The Bethel store opened in 1949, and Mr. Caraluzzi attributed the success to "high quality and low prices. That's the Caraluzzi's motto ... Only the best values make it on Caraluzzi's shelves."

For example, Mr. Caraluzzi said his store sells certified Angus beef, local seafood and Connecticut-grown produce at low prices. "We also have a good selection of natural and organic food," he said.

The expansion was also done using environmentally friendly features such as LED lighting.

Mr. Caraluzzi's grandfather, Anthony Caraluzzi Sr., "invested every last nickel he had and bought the former Bethel Fruit & Vegetable Market on Greenwood Avenue in 1949, after working 27 years for Gristede's Supermarkets in the Bronx," Mr. Caraluzzi said.

His father, Anthony Caraluzzi Jr., retired in 2006, and Mr. Caraluzzi then took the helm. The Wilton store opened in 2003, and the Newtown store in 2008. Mr. Caraluzzi's sister, Jennifer, runs the family-owned Nutmeg Discount Liquors store in Bethel.

Mr. Caraluzzi said he expects the expansion project to be complete in about "eight to 12 weeks."

Information: or 203-544-7021.