After years of hard work and a few setbacks, an Ithaca family opens a much-anticipated neighborhood grocery store. Tamara Lindstrom tells us what the community thinks about the new business.
ITHACA, N.Y. -- After standing vacant for three years, customers poured through the doors of the new Neighborhood Pride Grocery Store Wednesday to check out the goods.
"I enjoy supporting smaller businesses, local businesses, and I enjoy a small grocery store on occasion as opposed to a great big one," said Ithaca resident Carol Murray.
The Hancock Street building housed a grocery store since the 1970s. But the former P&C, turned Tops Market, closed in 2010.
"We've looked forward to having them reopen since it closed some time ago," said Fall Creek resident Kathy Trapani. "We're quite pleased. It's a beautiful store, nice and clean and a lot of great merchandise. So we're really happy about it."
The store opened to enthusiastic crowds coming in all day. But to the owners, it's about more than sales. In fact, their mission is in the name.
"Neighborhood Pride means taking pride in the neighborhood," said owner and manager John Petito. "We are trying to run a community grocery store here. We're here to provide products that they're looking for. We are trying to be available for different community events. And we're listening to all the different members of the community and we're trying to bring all the different ethnic flavors of the community in."
The Petito family has lived in the Northside and Fall Creek neighborhoods for more than 80 years. Owner Tony helped build the structure back in 1970. He said seeing the community support made the effort worthwhile.
"I lived in this neighborhood for many years. It brought back a lot of memories about pleasant things that happened in the Northside and Fall Creek," the elder Petitio said. "It's a great, great, great area to live in."
A neighborhood happy to have its own grocery store once again.
Neighborhood Pride has about 40 employees. The store is open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day.