Porricelli's Closing 'Bigger News Than You Think'

Resident Gail Jarvis talks about the free market and private ownership.

Trumbull Center. Porricelli's Closing.  Political Administration (s).  Free Market.
Private Ownership.  And Everyone else's Opinions and Ideas.  
Trumbull Center.  Where is it?    How do you get there?  What's it near?  What's it like?
Trumbull Center started out back in the 1950's, when they wanted to 'modernize' the "shopping experience" and it became a series of strip-mall-shops.  Shops mostly catering to service and convenience stores.  Oh Wow the Grand Union showed up and was the 'New SuperMarket way to Shop' , bringing Trumbull out of its bucolic and countrified little hamlet and into the future.  Trumbull Center grew with more-of-the-same service and convenience stores.  Accross the street, and for sure a car ride over to  Nydens (remember Nydens?) opened up a family department store.
That too was short lived. Nydens evaporated. 
Trumbull Center with its strip-stores scattered on both sides of White Plains Rd. made it impossibe to walk and shop. Trumbull, one of the first suburban towns that wanted to 'modernize' became entrenched in its own Time Warp.
Trumbull Center has No Identity--Never Did.
Porricelli's Closing: I hate to see good businesses and good people lose their business.  It entails so much personal and emotional loss.  Closing your business isn't a quick decision and certainly not an easy one.  The impact is enormous.  The Porricelli Family has lost much with the closing of all their stores.  The economics of the time are dictating whats next for all of us. So many have written in other articles/publications/blogs about why they closed. Everyone has an opinion and most have 'no skin in the game'.  So unless you have a real solution to the problems at Trumbull Center contact the owners privately.
Otherwise don't critisize and tell others what to do with their business/finances. Town Politics and the Administration (s): no matter who is in charge have all the mechanisims in place including Economic Development.  But unless  the owners contact the Town for assistance and help with future Planning and Zoning little can be done. This is STILL a Free Market with Private Ownership.  And if I'm not mistaken the owners pay the taxes. 
Quite frankly I am scared by the 'thinking' that I am reading almost everywhere.  Porricelli's closing puts into a clear focus.  Written comments like :"owners should tell us what their plans are",  "call Tim Herbst  for immediate action", "Planning and Zoning must  demand answers from the owners."
Another suggested that if the zoning permits 'building-up' and having more space to rent only the owners will reap financial rewards. Sounds like socialism.  Is re-distribution of wealth and property next?  Welcome to class-warfare in small part  from the citizens of Trumbull who "Want what they Want" and "Know what's good for them" on somebody else's dime. The closing of Porricelli's is bigger news than you think.
Gail Jarvis

Richard January 09, 2013 at 12:49 PM
The state of Trumbull Center was used as a campaign strategy by Tim Herbst and it's "sprucing up," in progress prior to his election, was claimed as a sign of his policies within his first 6 months of election. I don't know what socialism and redistribution of wealth have anything to do with citizens hoping that local government can faciltate improved services and options. I am sure the downtowns of Miflord, Westport, New Haven and New Canaan all benefit from public and private partnerships. That 's all people are asking for. Not rigid, extreme philosophical views that hinder action unless you want to fit into to the cuurent dynamic of our US Congress.
Momof3 January 09, 2013 at 01:17 PM
Amen Richard Amen
gail jarvis January 09, 2013 at 02:39 PM
Richard I too would like Trumbull Center to be "the downtowns of Milford, Westport......". Over the LONG course of time "they planned it that way." Trumbull Centers Grand Plan almost prohibits 'easy walking' from store to store. No Sunday strolling here. Of course public and private ownership should work together--it would be a win-win situation. Most all of Trumbull Center Strip-Mall-Buildings is privately owned. I was personally prompted to write this artice because many comments that I have read ( and you can read them as well on Patch and newspapers) indicate that somebody ie. government better do something to facilitate our (Trumbullites) needs and wants. And yes there were comments about the current up-date-look, profit margins the owners would reap. How best to spend other-peoples-money is never a smart approach, the dialogue has become too political, this is after all PRIVATE PROPERTY with Public Access Service Buildings/Store Fronts. And yes, when we start telling "others" how to spend THEIR Money--it's just a matter of time when 'someone' will be telling us how we should spend our$.
Rob Tedesco January 09, 2013 at 03:00 PM
Some perspective, please: this is Fairfield County, CT. We are all pampered. You can throw a stone (figuratively speaking) and hit a grocery store. Nobody likes to see small(er) family businesses fail when competing against large(r) national chains, but this problem is a lot bigger than Trumbull and Porricelli's, and we will all survive just fine, even if the space in Trumbull Center stays vacant for the next 15 years. Nobody wants that, but we'll all be fine if it happens. It's a little hard to sort through the author's grammar, punctuation and charged (misplaced?) geo-political views, so frankly I'm not sure I understand "the point" -- but inasmuch as "the point" is "it's unfair to criticize the owners for deciding to close their business" I'm not sure how anybody could disagree with that. Creative destruction, people. Business fail. New things take their place. Sometimes, it takes time. But back to my original point -- relatively speaking, we are all pampered with amenities in this zip code, so let's not make this out to be a crisis -- whether it involve the private sector, public sector, and combinations thereof.
HL January 09, 2013 at 04:19 PM
In regards to Poricelli's closing, I felt that was inevitable since the moment they opened. The fact that the store remained open this long is a testament to the hard work of the ownership, because they overcame glaring weaknesses. For starters, it's not a large grocery store. That limits the number of options available to consumers. Second, they are not a national chain, which means it would be very difficult to compete in terms of pricing. In this economy, it's hard to justify spending more to go to a "family" grocery store, especially when most of the products are the same (same brands of bread, eggs, milk, etc). Lastly, if you are going to compete with the large chains and warehouses, you need to offer something different or special. Organic/natural foods, local produce, a superior bakery (the bakery there was similar to those in any other grocery store) or butchery. I went into Poricelli's a few times when they opened, and quickly felt that it was just a smaller, less-diverse and slightly more expensive version of Stop & Shop. I felt it was well run and clean, and so I did use them from time to time over the years when I was in that area and did not feel like driving up to Stop & Shop for something small, but mostly now we spread our shopping between Stop & Shop, Whole Foods and Costco. If you are not a chain you need to be like Foodworks in Monroe: Organic, gluten-free, vegan, local, etc. Specialize in something that warrants the extra cost.
Thomas Tesoro January 09, 2013 at 05:38 PM
Gail is right, this is private property and there is little government can do except offer assistance and advice. I made this same comment when the Republicans, nearly four years ago, lambasted the previous First Selectman for the condition of Trumbull center, this in spite of his efforts to get grants and the like to make needed cosmetic changes that were in his scope of responsibility. When I made those comments then, the Republicans sneered and said wait until they were elected. Well, nearly fours years later and Trumbull Center is is much the same condition (except for the cosmetic changes noted above) and now Republicans have adopted my line of thinking on the matter. While I am glad for this return to common sense, one has to look with great sadness and skepticism at any group (in this case Republican candidates for office) that would say anything to get elected.
Tom Pieragostini January 09, 2013 at 06:00 PM
The town's first meeting hall was located in Trumbull Center. The railroad went right through TC and even stopped there too! Imagine how much better TC would be today if both of those facilities were still there. Blame the town leaders in the past who believed that building a new Town Hall and putting new commercial development on our borders away from TC was a great idea.
Richard January 10, 2013 at 02:54 AM
Good points Tom P. Thanks Gail for the ongoing dialogue. Totally agree HL
Ctyankee203 January 10, 2013 at 04:11 PM
I hate to call the kettle black but wasn't there a mailer that went out from a current administrator about stores closing in the center and it was the fault of the previous?
Freeasaneagle January 11, 2013 at 02:10 AM
Tom P- interesting points. Thank you. HL- I love your insight. : ) A lot of people are sad to see Poricelli's go, but in these tough times with so many people out of work, trying to manage their expenses while living on an unemployment check and other economic struggles, some had to cut back and resist going onto higher priced stores or just cut back on some types of food items. It was a great store but our wallets have been hit so many expenses and state taxes.
Freeasaneagle January 11, 2013 at 02:14 AM
The reality is that, just like many small businesses, Poricelli's was hit hard. Some people can't even go to Stop & Shop that often. They go down to Price Rite for certain items. That is the reality and unfortunately, no job creation has affected consumers ability to make special purchases
Alexander B. C. January 12, 2013 at 12:53 AM
CT taxes, labor and energy costs killed Porricelli's.
Tom Kelly January 12, 2013 at 01:52 PM
Alexander B.C. does not, obviously, have a degree in Economics, but simply Tea Party orthodoxy. While CT has some costs which are marginally higher than other states, businesses also have access to one of the most affluent customer bases in the ENTIRE WORLD. You have to take all factors togethers. Porricelli's also closed or sold two other stores besides the one in Trumbull. Stores went out of business in Trumbull Center and Trumbull Shopping Park in the 1970's and 1980's as well, before there was even an income tax.
HL January 12, 2013 at 02:02 PM
Tom, agree 100%. Alexander is just a victim of "confirmation bias". He desires to blame taxes, labor and energy cost, so he believes it must be true. The truth is, there are just far too many companies that thrive in CT under the same tax, labor and energy cost. Stop & Shop does just fine, they just have a superior business model. There are also more niche stores that sell natural and gluten-free type groceries and can charge a premium to the affluent base you speak of. Poricelli's is more a victim of an outdated business model (grocery store succeeding primarily because it is within walking distance) than anything else. We use Stop & Shop for core groceries, because it had more selection and better prices. We then drive to Costco for bulk low price purchasing, and we also will drive to Whole Foods to get the organic produce variety we seek. I do have sympathy for ANY failed business, but this one could be seen coming.
Tom Pieragostini January 12, 2013 at 04:04 PM
The town of Trumbull had ownership of TC, but they decided to sell it. Center School and the original town hall were both sold, but was there any public input at the time? After the old town meeting house was sold for $100, it was later dismantled and rebuilt in Darien. There was public outcry and the Trumbull Historical Society was formed to stop another historic building from being demolished. Where was the public outcry when Center School was sold to a local developer so that he could build a non-descript commercial building there? That school property went right up to the Pequonnock River. So, I guess we're all partially to blame for what we have in TC, because we allowed our elected officials to sell significant town property there.


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