ShopRite hosts Labor Day Weekend BBQ to benefit the community
Newton ShopRite hosts BBQ
Photos by Laurie Gordon
By Laurie Gordon NEWTON — Over the Labor Day weekend, ShopRite of Newton had a great smelling, delicious tasting bar-be-que outside the store. Proceeds from this event benefited local food banks. Since 1999, ShopRite Partners In Caring has donated over $40 million to Feeding America Food Banks. Throughout September --during Hunger Action Month--patrons can “fight hunger from the heart” by rounding up their purchases to the nearest dollar. Every penny raised will support local hunger fighting agencies though the ShopRite Partners in Caring program. Owned by parent company, RoNetco Supermarkets, ShopRite of Newton is one of seven ShopRite operated by the company. RoNetco prides itself as being “Partners in Caring for our neighbors' families, homes and communities. This tradition is shared by all RoNetco associates, is the company's business philosophy and is exemplified by this and the other many events sponsored annually by RoNetco to raise awareness and improve the quality of living for residents served by its stores. RoNetco is celebrating 90 years in business serving customers in Sussex, Warren and Morris counties. Starting from humble beginnings, the family embarked on their “American Dream” in the 1920’s. Mrs. Romano, the former Vincenzia Ann Francomacaro, was born and raised in Netcong, NJ. Thomas V. Romano, emigrated from Cesa, Italy, at the age of 19, arriving in the United States through Ellis Island in 1919. He settled in Netcong, New Jersey in 1924 and married Vincenzia (Fannie) in 1926. The couple was determined entrepreneurs who began their business journey with only $100 to their name – Fannie ran a small shop in their living room selling butter, sugar, flour, milk and eggs, and Tom ran an auto shop out of their garage. As the economy went into a recession that led to the Great Depression, the auto business struggled, but the small food market thrived. Fannie convinced Tom to close the auto shop, which allowed them to move the market into bigger space in their garage. As the business grew, they moved into a free standing building in Netcong, opening “Romano’s Food Market." In 1954, the Romanos joined Wakefern Food Corporation, which was created to give small, independent store owners the purchasing power to compete against the large supermarkets of the day, such as A & P. As a member of the cooperative, the Romanos opened their first ShopRite supermarket, located in Netcong, in 1956. From that first ShopRite in Netcong, the family opened more stores as the communities in Northwestern New Jersey grew. Their second store opened in Hackettstown in the 1960’s but was the tragedy of a fire in the 1980’s. Their existing stores today are: Netcong (1964), Newton (1972), Succasunna (1974), Mansfield (1977), Franklin (1994), Byram (1998) and Flanders (2004). RoNetco is hyeadquartered in Ledgewood, and the company employs more than 1,800 associates and has plans to open two new stores, Sparta and Sussex. Bar-be-cues like this one along with numerous other events are staged annually by RoNetco to give back to the communities it serves.