July 5, 2012 By Christian Murray
The 4th of July marked the grand opening of the New Orchard Farmers Market at 42-24 Greenpoint Ave.
Owner Bob Patel and a partner bought the store this past March 15th and have spent the intervening months renovating and acquiring all the proper licenses that such a business requires. “You need licenses for the cigarettes, the beer, even the flowers. It takes a lot of coordination.”
The store has yet to receive its beer license but once it comes through it will be open 24 hours a day. Right now it’s open from 8am-11pm.
Patel is from Westchester. “It is a hike for me, but it’s worth it. My partner is from Flushing and we wanted to be in Queens. After a lot of research we stood on the corner for several days and knew this was the place. Sunnyside is decent and relatively crime free, and the people are so nice. There’s no headaches and the park [Thomas P. Noonan, Jr. Playground] is a real attraction with all the kids. We will accommodate them with plenty of ice cream and juice.”
The market will feature a new deli counter with fresh meat and chicken. A new section will cater to the Indian community, and he will keep the Turkish section left by the previous owner. “We won’t turn our backs on the Turks or anyone else, either. If the neighbors ask for a certain product, we will do our best to accommodate them. We have lottery, flowers, all of the groceries, even two bathrooms. What other market has bathrooms?”
If Patel sounds like he has a strong business acumen, it might be because of where he’s from. “Kujarat, India. Anytime you find a good Indian-owned business in this country the last name of the owner is Patel and they’re from the Kujarat area. Stores, restaurants, hotels — all Patel.”
He’ll add “New” to the old Orchard Farmers Market sign. “New signs and awnings would cost eight thousand dollars. That’s not smart business.”