By Madina Toure
The New York Mart supermarket in downtown Flushing is expanding its inventory to meet the diverse needs of area residents.
After the Met Food Market in the neighborhood closed, residents of the Holly Civic Association contacted the office of City Councilman Peter Koo (D-Flushing) to find a convenient alternative to their traditional grocery store that would sell similar products.
Koo reached out to Deng Long, New York Mart’s CEO, requesting that the store expand its inventory to include a wider range of products, including assorted cheeses, deli meats, pastas and frozen foods, in addition to its standard Asian groceries.
At a news conference at the supermarket, Francis Zhou, assistant to the president of New York Mart, gave Koo and other attendees a tour of the supermarket. Members of the Holly Civic Association were also in attendance.
“When I explained the situation, Deng immediately agreed to expand his inventory,” Koo said.
New York Mart markets itself as a Chinese grocery store that seeks to bridge the Chinese and American markets. The supermarket has also added a customer service desk in addition to enlarging its inventory.
Zhou said the store has already stocked two shelves with traditional Western food.
“We understood that this neighborhood area is mixed cultures,” he said.
Long said the store is committed to providing quality groceries to residents and looks for opportunities to interact directly with its shoppers.
“Our stores pride themselves on being a good neighbor, and we are happy to expand our shelves and to provide products that reflect the diversity of residents here in Flushing,” he said.
Joyce Huang, store assistant, said she is available to address shoppers’ concerns.
“I’m always here,” Huang said. “I take all suggestions.”
Denise Winters, president of the Holly Civic Association, said the updated inventory will help senior citizens in the area.
“Our seniors need to walk and be able to buy different groceries,” Winters said.
Flushing resident Mary Robinson, 68, who lives three blocks away from the supermarket, praised the announcement but suggested that fliers outside the supermarket be available in English. She also said the store should lower its prices.
“We’re willing to give it a shot,” Robinson said.
Miguelina Roman-Acosta, another Flushing resident, said she was happy to learn of the changes to the inventory but that she would like to see more press covering issues that directly affect residents and more representation of minorities, particularly blacks and Hispanics.
“We don’t even know how many Hispanics are in the area,” Roman-Acosta said.
Reach reporter Madina Toure by e-mail at mtour