Written by MARK JAEGER
Thursday, 30 July 2015 14:25
New owners stocking shelves based requests from regular customers
The change in ownership of The Village Market at 119 Highland Dr. in Fredonia was completed last month, but the transition is taking a little bit longer.
“We have been doing a lot of cleaning and clearing away clutter. It is not something that can be done right away,” said Darshan Patel, who manages the small grocery store with his uncle, Rameshbhai A. Savaliya, who owns the business.
“If people come in and see empty space on the shelves, it just means we are in the cleaning process.”
David Roggenbuck opened the store in 1997. Savaliya and his family have a six-month lease on the store with an option to buy the property.
Patel said the new owners are taking a close look at what items they stock.
“We decided to carry one brand of a product, like canned tomatoes, which will leave us room for other items,” he said.
Patel said he invites customers to make suggestions about what items they would like to see available.
During a visit to the store this week, a customer overheard the comment and said she would return with a list of products she would like offered.
Patel said he has learned running a store in a small town requires keeping in touch with the word around town.
“There was a rumor we are getting rid of the bakery. That is simply not true. The bakery is very important to our customers,” he said.
The store is also placing an emphasis on fresh produce.
“New produce is being brought in every other day. If items are spoiled, they will be thrown out,” Patel said.
The store already carries a wide selection of beverages, and the owners are finding out which brands are preferred by their customers.
As part of the transition process, the store has applied to the state to accept food stamps. That approval is expected to come next month.
Image information: NEW OWNER Rameshbhai Savaliya (above) has become a familiar sight running the cash register at the Village Market, 119 Highland Dr. in Fredonia. Grace Bonjean (at left) continues to make fresh bakery at the small grocery store.
Photos by Mark Jaeger