PHILADELPHIA (CBS) –  The first full-size grocery store in the Northern Liberties section of Philadelphia opened this morning, a Superfresh at Second and Girard.

Many customers were taking advantage of grand opening specials to make sure they have the essentials in preparation for Hurricane Irene.

“I’m ready — I got water, I got everything,” said one early shopper.

“We did a lot of preparation for the grand opening — the sale events,” says Kevin Reger, district manager for Superfresh in the Philadelphia area, “but we took a real close look the night before to order in extra quantities of water, thousands of loaves of bread, batteries, flashlights coming in, so we have everybody’s needs for this hurricane that is coming up the east coast.”

A&P, the parent company of Superfresh, is still in the midst of Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and CEO Sam Martin says the new store is an example of how the company is emerging from a tough period.

“We felt like this would be a perfect area (in which) to put a new store,” he said.

A&P first envisioned the store as a Pathmark, but Martin, who became CEO last year, switched it to the company’s more upscale brand.

“Superfresh has a higher focus on prepared foods: a much more expanded bakery offering, a wing bar, salad bar: all of those things that the demographic studies shows attracts them (customers) and meets their needs at a higher level than our Pathmark manifesto does.”

And Martin says that matches the demographics of Northern Liberties.

“This neighborhood fits Superfresh like a glove.”

Reported by Mike Dunn and John McDevitt, KYW Newsradio 1060

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