Written by Jaclyn Gallucci, email@example.com Wednesday, 13 November 2013 10:27
There’s a new market in town, serving up smoothies, paninis, take-home dinners, sushi, organic fruits and vegetables and other gourmet goodies in downtown Syosset.
Jae Jang, a resident of Jericho, decided to open up J’s Market at a long-empty storefront on Jackson Avenue after reading the Town of Oyster Bay’s redevelopment plan for downtown Syosset in which many respondents said they’d like to see a specialty grocery store close to home.
“This project started 18 months ago,” says Jang. “We had a mountain of hurdles to overcome. But we finally made it.”
One of the most obvious hurdles is opening a small business in an area that has seen quite a few businesses come—and go—over the past decade: The Black Wolf pub, Menchie’s frozen yogurt and 516 American Kitchen, to name a few.
Most recently the Birch Hill Market, just a few doors down from J’s Market, closed after only a few months in business. The Healthy Eatery on Jericho Turnpike also quietly closed its doors this month after nearly 20 years in business.
The CVS on Cold Spring Road replaced a King Kullen years ago and the Jackson Avenue Rite Aid, now closed, moved into what used to be a North Shore Farms.
“So, why did I open a store here where all the big supermarkets closed down?” asks Jang. “Because, I felt that being so big was the reason why they failed. I think that Syosset needs a market where it’s more personable and quality oriented than mass volume.”
“Also, being big means more overhead and more cost,” he adds.
Jang used to own the successful Happy Farms in Huntington Village, and supplied produce to local restaurants like Piccolo, SalD’s, DiRaimo Pizzeria and Besito.
He sold it in 2011 after 16 years at that location.
“I do miss that place and the people that I’ve come to know but, it was a business decision to leave and hopefully grow my business,” says Jang. “The business was very successful despite big supermarkets nearby. But, the place was too small for any growth.”
Jang credits that success, despite all the competition, to going to the wholesale market himself to buy the fruits and vegetables directly from the vendors.
“I will bet that every other store, be it big or small, will have their produce delivered by middle men who buy products in bulk and distribute them to many other stores,” says Jang. “We buy for our store only. This way it preserves the quality and price.”
“Now that I am here, maybe in time people will learn to trust me and have enough confidence to provide the quality and service that I was able to show in Huntington,” says Jang. “I know it will take some time but, I believe it will be a success.”