Residents in Durham petition Hannaford, claiming store caters to UNH students, not community
Written by NH1.com on .
DURHAM — After less than two years of being open in Durham, Hannaford is being petitioned by residents are upset their local grocery store is no longer a community gathering spot that serves families.
On Thursday, a group of residents gave the store manager a copy of their petition, which was signed by more than 360 citizens. It says families now travel to Market Basket in Lee because the chain grocery store has changed their contents.
Nicky Gullace says Hannaford is catering to students at the University of New Hampshire and doesn't care about the Durham community.
"Yeah, it's got beer and pizza and chips, but it's not the sort of place that, we used to have a beautiful selection of cheeses. We had a lovely bakery section. We had an ice cream shop called Kaleidoscoop, where all the youth of the neighborhood would gather after their soccer games and they boarded it up first thing. Talk about something destructive to the community," Gullace said. "So that this no longer became a meeting place, but just sort of a convenience store, and this really now functions like a convenience store. You go, you pick up the milk, you leave."
Hannaford spokesperson Eric Blom says they have invested $2 million into making improvements at the Durham location and sales are growing steadily, but they don't necessarily warrant a larger store at the Mill Plaza.
Petitioners were hopeful executives at the company would decide to build a new store as part of the planned Mill Plaza redevelopment.