After hearing of Porricelli's closing, First Selectman Tim Herbst and Economic & Community Development Commission Chair Scott Wich say Trumbull's economy is strong and a replacement will be found.
"Trumbull’s economic development is strong and the Town is committed to doing everything in its power to work with the property owners to fill this commercial space as quickly as possible," Herbst said Friday.
Porricelli's company owner Jerry Porricelli announced the closure the same day in a press release, but Herbst said it was the first time he had heard.
"No one from the Town’s government was contacted by the owners to alert us to the closure and we have not received any explanation from management as to the reasons for the closing of their Trumbull location," Herbst said.
"What is surprising about this action is that at the end of 2011, the owners of Porricelli’s elected to exercise an option to renew their lease for another five years. Earlier this year, the owners of the market approached the landlord to convey how the economy was affecting their business and how meeting their monthly rent payments was becoming a greater challenge.
"The landlords thereafter agreed to give the owners of the Porricelli’s temporary rent concessions that were intended to help them weather the current economic climate, until conditions improved. In speaking to the landlord, we have been advised that they were not informed by the tenant of this closure," he concluded.
'Porricelli's Has Not Had an Easy Year'
Economic commission Chair Scott Wich added, "Porricelli’s has not had an easy year. First, with the closing of its Old Greenwich location in August and now with the closing of its Trumbull location."
"It is truly unfortunate to see a well-regarded, family-run business like Poricelli’s leave Trumbull. However, the Town will be doing everything in its power to assist in bringing a new quality business to Trumbull Center. On behalf of the Town, I would like to thank the Poricelli family and wish them well for their contributions to the community," Wich said.
Numerous Patch Users said the family-run store, founded in 1950, was convenient and offered fresh foods. Trumbull's store opened in 2002, replacing the Grand Union. The two Greenwich stores closed in 2009 and 2012.
Herbst said he too was disappointed at the closure.
"However, we must now look forward and seek a suitable replacement for the benefit of our residents. Trumbull residents should know that if there was no optimistic future for this property, the property owners would not be making a multi-million dollar investment in the property’s rehabilitation," Herbst said.
In the last year, the plaza has lost Frances' Pastry and Trumbull Aquarium and Pets. Outside of the plaza, the town lost P.J.'s Garden Exchange on Madison Avenue, which was started in the late 1930s.
"Further, at the peak of the last construction cycle, Trumbull had 68 commercial and industrial construction projects underway, despite the current economic conditions we are facing at the state and national level," the first selectman said.
Trumbull Economic Development Director Ed Lavernoich could not be reached for comment Friday.
But numerous readers suggested that a Trader Joe's would be a good fit to replace the store.