New Supermarket Opens on Mott Street in ChinatownEAT, LIFESTYLE Monday, August 1st, 2011
Chris Fuchs, Staff Reporter
A new supermarket opened its doors in Chinatown today just blocks away from stalwarts like De Chang (德昌超市) and the Hong Kong Supermarket (香港超市), luring customers with a variety of fresh produce, meats and fish as well as a 10 percent discount on their total bill.
By noontime Friday, streams of Chinatown residents were coursing through the aisles of New York Mart’s (中國城超市) Mott Street location, snatching up everything from vegetables like water spinach (空心菜) and a popular Taiwanese lettuce called A-Cai (A菜) to lobsters and crabs.
What most interested many of the customers, though, was a fruit called Longan (龍眼), which is somewhat similar to the popular Lychee nut. Contained within a shell, Longan, which grows on trees, is extremely sweet and juicy. As workers were carting in crates of Longan, customers squeezed themselves into a small area near where the store will soon sell freshly prepared food and jockeyed for position to get first dibs on the fruit.
The interior of the supermarket differs from that of its neighbors — and now competitors — De Chang and the Hong Kong Supermarket and has something of a Whole Foods-esque feel to it, without the high prices and mostly organic produce, of course. All of the shelves are done in wood, and the aisles are wide enough to pass others who might be searching to find, say, their favorite brand of vinegar among the many choices.
Also unusual is the exceptionally high ceiling, which lends an overall airiness to what could easily turn into a claustrophobic experience, depending on when you do your shopping. Like the Hong Kong Supermarket, which is only a block away, New York Mart sells all the usual provisions one can find in an average Chinese supermarket with comparable prices.
Opened for only one day, New York Mart, which has stores on East Broadway and in Queens, still had some kinks to work out. While shoppers were scurrying about, workers were hurrying to finish installing paneling inside some of the freezer units. And cashiers, unfamiliar with the check-out codes for certain produce, had to frequently stop scanning items and call out in Mandarin for a supervisor who seemed to have the entire list memorized.
One customer, whose surname is Tseng, brought up one potential problem with the checkout lanes. “There isn’t enough room to put all of your items down,” she said. In fact, the checkout counter was at most three feet in length and lacked a conveyer belt. Still, each lane had someone bagging, which made the process go faster.Tweet
Short URL: http://www.ourchinatown.org/?p=5175