A “for sale” sign has gone up at the Lackawanna Halal Market on Ridge Road.
Market owner and operator Mustafa “Mike” Jaarah confirmed Thursday that the market is for sale, but he also said it will remain open for business.
“Something came up in New York City, and we decided we don’t want to be here,” Jaarah said in a brief telephone interview.
Jaarah is from the New York City area, where he and his family have operated a halal slaughterhouse and market in Brooklyn for many years.
His foray into Lackawanna with a slaughterhouse and market was heralded by some residents and criticized by others.
The 18,000-square-foot supermarket opened its doors last December, promising competitive prices on groceries for an underserved part of Lackawanna.
The market was the second phase of development at the site by the Jaarahs, who started their business in a former auto parts store in 2010 when they opened a controversial butcher shop and halal slaughterhouse.
“Halal” refers to the method of killing the animals in accordance with Islamic regulations and customs on cleanliness. The halal slaughter involves the saying of a brief Islamic prayer and the use of a super-sharp knife to cut the animal’s throat in a way that kills it instantly.
Lackawanna, which has a sizable Muslim population, was considered an ideal location for the slaughterhouse because Muslims are required to eat halal meats and poultry.
Jaarah said in the telephone interview he would continue operating the store “another year or two” while trying to sell it.