SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – When is the addition of a new grocery store more than just the opening of another business? The answer is when it helps fill a city’s growing void. Eyewitness News Reporter Mark Hiller visited the store on Tuesday for its first day of business.
Doing some grocery shopping with his mother, Raj Shah of Pittston found something he’s been longing for at Valley Supermarket in Scranton: variety. “This looks awesome. Everything, you know, is what we needed here.”
Being of Indian descent, Mr. Shah would go to great lengths to get the items he grew up with. “Everything is far from here, like if you want to have a good grocery and stuff you’ve got to drive to New Jersey.”
While Valley Supermarket offers virtually all of the items you come to expect from a store of similar size, owner Nimesh Patel features plenty of options for the diverse community he now serves. “We have an American aisle. We have Asian. We have that one. We have Nepali. We have Pakistani,” said Mr. Patel.
Serving a multi-cultural customer base is just one void this store fills. “The traditional downtown is not what it once was,” said Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce President Bob Durkin. In taking a broader vision of the scope of center city, Mr. Durkin sees how the new business solves another gap. “Where are the jobs? Where do we see the greatest concentrations of professionals working and potentially living and clearly this was within the second rim if you will with the hospitals and the medical college,” he said.
Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine student Samantha Russell of Hawley stopped at Valley Supermarket during a short break from classes. “I could just come right up here. Pick up some things I need. Pick up some things for my classmates,” she said.
In planning the supermarket, Mr. Patel wanted his business to be a one-stop shop. That’s why he’s included a pharmacy and plans to provide a service for customers to ship products using UPS, FedEx or DHL. Mr. Shah said, “They have everything. It’s just much easier for us.” When asked if he thinks he’ll be a loyal customer Mr. Shah said, “Oh, yeah. Definitely.”
Valley Supermarket plans to hold a grand opening event in February at its location at the corner of Jefferson Avenue and Ash Street.