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Taiyo Foods Set to Reopen at New Sunnyside Location, More Than 4 Months After Fire Tore Through Store

A Japanese market that closed in August after a fire ripped through its storefront in August is set to reopen at a new location in Sunnyside (Photo: Google Maps)

Dec. 10, 2021 By Michael Dorgan

A Japanese market that closed in August after a fire ripped through its storefront – and several other adjoining businesses – is set to reopen at a new location in Sunnyside with the help of a resident-backed GoFundMe campaign.

Taiyo Foods, a grocery and convenience store, will open before Christmas on the southeast corner of 43rd Avenue and 42nd Street. The opening comes more than four months after a fire burned down the company’s former premises on 44th Street near Queens Boulevard.

The company is moving into a space at 42-02 43rd Ave. which was previously occupied by Organic Gourmet Deli, according to its owner Toshiaki Takahashi, known locally as Taka. The business offers fresh fruit and vegetables as well as imported Japanese products such as dried fruit and snacks.

Takahashi, 45, a Woodside resident who is originally from Japan, said that a GoFundMe fundraiser is helping him finance the reopening of his business.

The GoFundMe, which was started by a customer and friend of Takahashi hours after the blaze, has brought in more than $31,000 with more than 400 residents chipping in. Takahaski said that the donations are key to reopening the store and are being used to renovate the new space.

“So many people have helped me,” Takahashi said. “I really appreciate it and want to thank everybody. I have a lot of good neighbors.”

The blaze broke out inside an adjoining store at around 7:20 a.m. on  Aug. 12 and quickly spread to several other businesses housed in the same building. A preliminary investigation by the FDNY initially suggested that the fire erupted inside Taiyo Foods, but the final report stated the blaze was caused by an electrical issue inside Bajeko Sakuwa Himalayan Grill, located at 43-16 Queens Blvd.

Fire damage at the company’s previous premises on 44th Street near Queens Boulevard (GoFundMe)

More than 200 fire and EMS personnel responded to the four-alarm fire which caused all of the affected storefronts to immediately close down.

Takahashi said that it was too costly to repair and reopen the 44th Street location given the severity of the fire damage. A resident alerted him to the space on 43rd Avenue so he decided to open there instead.

He said rent is higher at the new 700 square feet premises, despite being about 300 square feet smaller than the 44th Street location.

“Rent is very expensive but a lot of customers are waiting for me, that is why we have to reopen as soon as possible,” he said.

Takahashi is renovating the interior of the space and said he is working hard to open before the holidays.

The new store will offer the same items as the old spot such as groceries, hardware products and beauty products.

Opening hours will be from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Sundays. Takahashi said he hopes to extend those hours once the store is fully up and running.

Taiyo Foods is opening at 42-02 43rd Ave. (Photo via Instagram @taiyo_japan)

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15 Comments

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Rough spot

I really hope they do well at that corner. The previous store lasted less than a year and the one before that had to move as well. That entire line of stores up to the flower shop used to just be one big grocery market, and they had to stop after 20 years because the landlord kept jacking up the rent. He split that one big store into like 4 small ones and now making bank at the cost of everyone else.

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Japanology 101

Great news. I am happy that the community reached out, and Taiyo is planning to open a new location. All the best for them! They were a great asset to the neighborhood, and hopefully will be again.

And to poster ‘Edd’, yes, the previous location had many Japanese beers you cant find elsewhere, although in small quantities. They also had ‘Pocari Sweat’, a Japanese sports drink that tastes good and is good for hangovers, or for after workouts. It’s healthier and more effective than Gatorade and other US sports drinks.

This was in addition to their other great products…meats, fresh produce, hot pre-made meals, high quality utensils and cook-ware, hard to find ingredients for Japanese cooking like Miso paste, pure dried seaweed, bonito flakes, etc. Thats in addition to the bombardment of long shelf-life junk food you see when you walk in.

Hopefully we can all welcome Taiyo back soon!

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Reasonable?

Please support small businesses, regardless of race, color, creed, or covid religious beliefs.

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Mima

Great news! Wish him all the best! So happy to hear the overwhelming help from the neighborhood people, it says a lot about Taka, good person, good business!

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Jerry

Personally, I wouldn’t be donating to a go fund me so someone else can make a profit but I’m glad this place is back. Good for the hood.

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Jim

Nice! Good luck to him. Good addition to 43d Avenue.

SSP – how about giving us an update on what is going on with the other stores that were burned out. These fires are devastating to our community. Sidetracks never came back.

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