By: Noreyana Fernando
When Neighborhood Pride closed down in 2010, both customers and employees were devastated. But today, the grocery store has reopened. It is once again filled with smiling customers, some of whom have been regulars since the 1970’s.
The independent, family-owned was housed in the former P&C Markets on Hancock St. in the Fall Creek neighborhood.
The store was founded by Tony Petito 40 years ago. However, the market was bought over by Tops and the chain opted to close the store at this location. Following years of hard work and planning, the store reopened its doors to customers this week. This is thanks to Tony Petito’s son, John.
“It’s been a lot of fun trying to get it open, and now that it’s open, it’s turned out to be even more fun,” Petito said. “My parents asked me to do this and wanted to give back to the community, and we tried to find a chain store to come in. We wanted to find one that would actually help the community, so we decided to do it ourselves.”
Today, the shelves are stacked with freshly baked goods and pastries, and the memories are equally fresh in the minds of the people.
Carol Bushberg lives in Danby. She recalls the year 1977, when she would shop in the store as a college student.
“It’s not a new store to me at all,” she said. “In 1977 when I came here as a student, this was the market that we shopped at downtown. It was here for a long time. I have very fond memories of it, and I’m really moved to be here.”
It’s not just the freshly baked goods that keep the customers coming back — it’s also the atmosphere of friendship in the store.
Susan Heath used to work in the store before it was shut down. She said it was comforting to see so many familiar faces.
“You don’t have to go through pots and pans and all the other stuff they have in big stores,” she said. “Just just get what you want. It’s friendly. Almost everyone knows everyone. What’s really nice is to see all the same people coming back.”