By George Capsis
Despite the turmoil in the wake of the pandemic to retail businesses, an innovative new supermarket has opened just opposite the outdoor Farmer’s Market that assembles at Abingdon Square every Saturday.
The location may look familiar—it’s where Mrs. Green’s operated for a short while before closing down in 2016.
The first words new visitors to the market utter after walking 10 feet is “Oh Wow!”
It is a paean to fresh taste.
They have a glistening array of sandwiches on fresh exotic breads, fresh Italian pastas and a Japanese chef slicing sushi at the fresh sushi bar.
The manager of the market, seeking gourmet perfection, signaled their modest prices by announcing a freshly brewed Fairway coffee for only two bucks a cup, and kegs of exotic beverages.
They were so anxious to answer the needs of the community that they canvassed the interest of Villagers and discovered their great desire for things like Asian staples and a wide range of other hard to find specialty items.
They have gourmet chefs that prepare and season meals to perfection and they provide you with cooking instructions so it’s perfect every time, and their rotisserie chicken bar is a spectacular display of crackling goodness.
To remove any doubt as to whether you should check out the new Gourmet Garage, the owners are offering WestView readers a $5.00 off coupon on your first purchase.
Gourmet Garage Opens
By Caroline Benveniste
On April 29th, at 11 a.m., Gourmet Garage West Village finally opened its doors. The weather cooperated, and while a bit chilly, it was a beautiful sunny day. It was hard to tell the size of the crowd, but the line snaked from the entrance near Hudson and Bank Street around the corner and west on Bethune Street. Adding to the festivities, Off the Bar Brass Band was playing some lively jazz while people massed and waited for the doors to open. Young and old members of the Sumas family, the current operators of Gourmet Garage, were on hand for the ribbon cutting. A few short speeches at the beginning gave some history and described the philosophy of the new store.
Gourmet Garage opened in 1992 as a wholesaler of produce to chefs and restaurants. A few years later, it added a retail option. At its peak there were five stores, including one in the West Village on 7th Avenue South, but later that store as well as the Upper East Side location closed, leaving locations in Tribeca, Soho and Lincoln Square. In the summer of 2019, Village Super Market, which also owns the Shoprite chains of supermarkets, acquired Gourmet Garage with plans to restore it to its former popularity. The following year, Village Super Market purchased five Fairway Market stores at the chain’s bankruptcy auction.
The day before the opening, Amanda Fischer, the Marketing, Business Development & Outreach Manager at Village Super Market sat down with George Capsis and Dusty Berke in the garden of George’s West Village home. In addition to offering a $5 coupon to WestView News readers, she gave some additional information on the new store:
*Gourmet Garage is operated by the Sumas family, 2nd and 3rd generation grocers who started their family business in 1937. They have over 85 years of experience running grocery stores
*This store is a new model for Gourmet Garage, much larger than the other three locations in Manhattan.
*We have two floors. The ground level floor focuses on what you need now. Fresh convenience including ready to eat fresh fruit, sushi, salads, sandwiches, soup bar. Also a new program that has over 30 varieties of meat and seafood in ready to cook tins making meal time simple.
*The lower level will feature a focus on a wide variety of what you need for your pantry.
*We’re focusing on providing value to the neighborhood by having low prices on the items that the neighborhood purchases the most. We want to be affordably fabulous and will feature a $2 cup of Fairway freshly roasted ground bean coffee. We’ll also have unique gourmet sandwiches under $10 and $0.79/lb Organic Bananas.
*We want to welcome our youngest foodies by offering them a FREE Fresh piece of fruit for all kids while they shop with their parents.
If the enthusiastic crowd at the opening is any indication, West Villagers are eager to welcome a new grocery option to the neighborhood.