New York-based grocer acquires Pascoag market for $1.2 million

Michael Fernandez, seen here at a 2021 meeting of Alliance Retail Services.

BURRILLVILLE – A Pascoag grocery store run by a northern Rhode Island family for more than four decades has been sold for $1.2 million to a man who owns several supermarkets in New York and Connecticut.

Brigido’s IGA Marketplace at 54 Sayles Ave. has been sold to Pascoag Strong, LLC according to a deed recorded in the Burrillville Town Clerk’s office this week. Pascoag Strong was registered as a business in the state last April by Michael Fernandez of West Hempstead, New York, according to records with the Rhode Island Secretary of State’s Office.

Fernandez, a resident of West Hempstead, NY according to the deed, is the owner of several supermarkets, including a Super Foodtown in New Hartford, Conn., opened in 2021.

His latest acquisition, the Pascoag store, has been owned by the Brigido family since they first opened its doors in 1978.

The Brigido chain of markets dates back to the 1940s, when Portuguese immigrant Augusto Brigido opened the family’s first grocery market in Pawtucket. Augusto’s son, George Brigido, and his wife CarolAnn, who carried on the family business for years, retired in Florida before George died in 2015.

In recent years, a third generation of the Lincoln-based family has run Brigido’s Fresh Markets in North Scituate, opened in 1975, and Slatersville, opened in the former Eddie’s Market in 1999, along with the Pascoag location.

This week, there were no recorded sales found for the two remaining Brigido’s locations. The Slatersville branch recently received a $640,000 Small Business Administration loan, according to documents filed in the town on Monday, Dec. 19.

Sources, however, have told NRI NOW that Fernandez was recently seen working in the Scituate store, and that they believe he acquired all three locations. The Brigido family leases the Slatersville store, and owns the plaza where the store in Scituate is located under the name Wally Realty, LLC.

Fernandez signed the deed for the Pascoag location, situated on a 1.3 acre lot in the village center on Tuesday, Nov. 29. An independent member of the Allegiance Retail Services cooperative that controls the Foodtown banner, Fernandez similarly purchased a grocery store in New Hartford at 141 Main St. in 2019 from the family that had owned it for 58 years.

The former Marandino’s Supermarket was closed for renovations, and according to reports when it reopened as Super Food Town in 2021, the business was completely remodeled and transformed into a state-of-the-art supermarket. Described as an “orchard-style produce market,” that 24,000-square-foot grocery reportedly sells organic produce, fresh cut flowers and seasonal plants, as well as value-priced items.

Fernandez was quoted at the time as saying his family wanted to leave the city and make their home in Connecticut.

Foodtown’s independent owners operate 65 stores under the Foodtown banner in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Connecticut. Fernandez reportedly also owns two Foodtown stores in the New York City borough of Queens.

Editor’s note: A previous version of this article did not note that George Brigido died in 2015, and the article has also been edited to include information regarding the potential sale of the other two stores.

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