Originally a Shop Wise market, it was taken over by the family of Jason Ferreira in 1997. They started out as Met Food, and three years ago, rebranded as Foodtown.
“We have a very good relationship with the community,” said Ferreira, the owner and general manager of the supermarket. “We always try to serve the community and listen to the needs of our customers and our neighbors.”
They’re part of community organizations like the Jackson Heights Beautification Group, which hosts events with neighborhood businesses. Ferreira was the grand marshal for last year’s Halloween parade along 37th Avenue.
The supermarket is also involved with P.S. 69 across the street, contributing candy, sandwiches and other supplies for the school.
“I personally have learned a lot from this community,” he said. “We value their input to the store’s operation. We welcome their comments.”
Last week, a newsstand was installed in front of his store. It was placed against the community’s recommendation, which angered elected officials and community leaders.
“I can’t understand why someone would want to come into a community that doesn’t want them,” Ferreira said. “When you’re going against your market, people who would be your customer base telling you they don’t want you there, that’s a big sign not to go there.”
Because there’s already so much congestion and traffic on the 37th Avenue corridor, Ferreira made the decision to unload deliveries through the back doors, rather than the front.
“A big reason for that is to reduce the obstacles, to make it safer as customers are walking in and out,” he said. “We really think a lot about the children next door that are going in and out of the store. Anything placed on this sidewalk in front of this store creates a big obstruction.”