At a time when local business corridors are in trouble, the Pelham Gardens area has o strengthened its shopping strip with the addition of two new stores.
Fruits and Vegetables, located 2456 Eastchester Road, celebrated its grand opening on Sunday, March 22.
For over five months the property, formerly occupied by Flowers by Jaz, has remained vacant. Not wanting to residents to suffer, the Northeast Bronx Association put out a search for a business to fill the void.
Ernesto Almeida, a retired local resident with experience in wholesale produce, decided to set up shop, offering over 50 different selections of fruits and vegetables.
“I live in the area and worked in Hunts Point Market for over 30 years. I couldn’t stay home anymore and when I found out this was available I wanted to do something for the community,” said Almeida.
Just several stores down, Carlos Romero and Carlos Romero partnered to form C & C Deli, Coffee Shop and Pastry, which opened its doors on Wednesday, March 11.
The property at 2438 has seen several businesses open and close over the past few years, none being able to remain in operation more than a year, leaving the community eager to see a store thrive in the spot.
C & C’s has a variety of items prepared on premises. It serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, with designated lunch specials each day, catering availability, and a wide selection of desserts and smoothies.
“What happened with the other stores was they always had the same thing, we serve mixed food and are not like everybody else,” said Romero.
With the new Walgreens expected to open in late April or early May and the expansion of Battaglia’s Meat Market into a small grocery store to replace the Met Supermarket, the business strip has much to offer local residents.
“With the two new stores, now we have the whole area,” said Vinny Prezioso, president of the NEBA and member of Community Board 11. “We have no empty spots, and when Walgreens opens we will have a full contingent of stores that will be very valuable to the community.”