Racing The Clock

Allan Appel PhotoThe two dozen bagels, cream cheese by the bucket, several pounds of grapes, and strawberries in the market basket of Kara Cassidy and Bernadette Laukaitis Friday morning was not a pre-storm stock up. It was a little snack for 14 hungry athletes who happened to be in town to shoot hoops amid a blizzard.

Cassidy and Laukaitis, assistant coaches for the University of Pennsylvania Quakers women’s basketball team, were among the crowd of customers jamming Stop & Shop on Whalley Avenue Friday morning as the first flakes of the expected one to two feet of snow began falling.

The Quakers are in town to play Yale Friday afternoon. Because of the weather, start time for the game was pushed up from 7 p.m. to 4 p.m. Meanwhile, the girls are staying at the Courtyard Marriott. Cassidy said the girls, who like to eat, will have a proper meal of chicken and pasta at around 12, enough time to digest before tip-off.

Like government work crews and private towing operations, Stop & Shop called in extra staff for the storm. Store manager Anne Demchak said the market plans to keep regular hours Friday and open as usual Saturday. The cashiers and other staff walk here [to work]. We’re lucky,” Demchak said. “I love this place.”

Cashier Michelle Lee, on her usual morning shift, was busier than usual, of course. “People just want to be in and out,” she observed.

Corine Gambrel of Derby Avenue did her stocking up with $75 of groceries on Thursday. But Friday she returned anyway to pick up some chicken, bread, juice, and milk. Just in case.

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