Gift basket specialists open retail store in Milford

MILFORD — Residents looking for a special gift basket, whether it’s fine wines, chocolates or floral arrangements, no longer need to go online.

Hazelton’s, known internationally for its gourmet baskets, opened a storefront earlier this month next to its distribution center near Boston Post Road at 72 Turnpike Square. And the store’s general manager, AnnMarie Orr, says the store is about more than gift baskets.

“We have a flower shop here, we have a bakery section, weavers on site to make a custom basket,” Orr said. “We do a number of different things in the store.”

Hazelton’s held its grand opening on April 6, and Orr said business was up.

“We had a soft opening about seven weeks ago, but the grand opening was on April 6,” Orr said. “Since the inauguration, we have almost tripled our income.”

Hazelton’s makes gourmet baskets and ships them across the United States and beyond.

“We have locations in Los Angeles, Chicago, a flower shop in New York, Cilantro’s restaurant in New Jersey, we have a Hazelton’s Wine and Liquor store in Manchester and we also own the Champions restaurant and cafe right next door. of us,” Orr said. “We have three locations in Canada, where we are from.

Orr added that the Chicago location is the twin of the Milford location since both have a distribution center and a storefront.

“The distribution center has been there for a little over a year,” Orr said. “The main idea was to start a store next to the distribution center, but there were many setbacks. It took a long time to open and run the store due to COVID and all that has recently affected businesses, but we did.

What sparked Hazelton’s interest in having a storefront in Milford was Boston Post Road, Orr said.

“It was about the location and where it was along Boston Post Road,” she said. “Milford has also glued us to the community and any small businesses we can partner with.”

“Our business owner not only cares about the performance of his businesses, but he also cares about the community in which they are located,” added Orr. “We want to be more involved and give back to the Milford community.”

Currently, Hazelton’s employs about 35 people, and Orr said the company eventually hopes to have as many as 50 employees.

“We employ a lot of seasonal workers because Christmas is our biggest time of the year,” she said. “On a normal day, we can do between 100 and 300 baskets. But especially a month before Christmas, we can process between 500 and 1,000 orders a day.

There are ready-made gourmet baskets in the store for customers to choose from, Orr said, but customers can also purchase a variety of goodies from the display case.

“Customers can purchase dog items, cat items, treats, gourmet cookies and crackers, packaged cheeses, chips, wine glasses, beer mugs,” she said. “We even have baby items and also have fresh fruit and fresh bread.”

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