A sorely-missed Norwood supermarket will be reopening this month, more than one year after it was destroyed by fire.
On December 22, 2009, an unexpected fire raged through Norwood around E. 204th Street, destroying a Foodtown supermarket, a neighboring dentist office and diner. The owner of the diner, Mohammed Quadir, is currently being charged for arson.
Immediately after the supermarket burnt down, store owners Noah and Dan Katz vowed to have the store rebuilt for the residents of Norwood, who otherwise would have to walk a distance to other food markets.
The supermarket was originally planned to be ready by summer 2010, but after about a year of rebuilding, the 11,000 square foot Foodtown at 238 E. 204th Street will soon reopen about 30% larger than before, absorbing the space formally occupied by the dentist and diner.
Paul Katz, who first opened the supermarket in 1956, had left his grandsons Noah and Dan the supermarket which had become a vital place for Norwood residents to purchase their groceries and other items.
Noah Katz, who used to work in the supermarket as a young boy, said the store will be ready for its re-opening at the end of February, and although it was very hard work to bring back Foodtown better than before, Katz said cooperation with local and city officials made the process worthwhile.
“We consider the re-opening of Foodtown as a very big deal for the community,” Katz said. “The local residents have to walk out of their way to get to other stores. We wanted to bring back the store for our customers because they deserve it. Now we’re happy to bring it back, even better for them.”
The supermarket had reassigned employees to other Foodtown stores, but when the store reopens, some 50 workers will return, along with the addition of 10 other employees that will soon be hired as a result of the expansion.
Community Board 7 district manager Fernando Tirado said that is a wonderful return for the supermarket, that for over five decades, has meant so much to Norwood.
“This is such a big deal for our community and not many people realize that,” Tirado said. “Our residents used to walk countless blocks just to get to another market that didn’t nearly have the same selection as Foodtown. I recently was able to tour the inside of the store and I have to say, they did an unbelievable job.”
Although the construction took a little longer than expected, the reopening of Foodtown this month is definitely warm news for cold Norwood residents.