Entrepreneurship runs in the Kaid family. They practice it even in one of the grittiest neighborhoods in the City of Buffalo.
In fact, Mushtaq Kaid, owner of the Super Price Choppers grocery store at 1580 Genesee St., near Goodyear Avenue, is planning additional renovations.
His father opened the Genesee Grocery & Deli nearby at Genesee and Moselle streets. It has been in the family for more than 30 years, not all of them happy. In 1997, his grandfather was killed at the location.
“A robbery gone wrong,” said 22-year-old Kaid, who now runs the corner deli as well as the grocery store.
In its fourth year of operation, the 6,000-square-foot market has a fresh-meat department – its main focus, said the general manager – a hot food buffet that was added a year ago; a deli section; frozen foods and dairy sections; fresh produce; a coffee station; an ATM machine; free delivery; and many grocery items.
A random check of various grocery, dairy and produce items showed that the prices there were comparable to the cost of similar items at Tops Markets, including many brand names.
The difference is that Super Price Choppers is homegrown.
“It’s like any other grocery shopping experience,” said general manager Bob Guenther.
“It’s clean. It’s nice. It’s bigger inside than it appears,” he added.
Former East Side resident Cynthia McMillon is one of the customers who shop here because of the prices. A mother of seven, McMillon moved to the West Side years ago. But for the past six months, she has been traveling back here regularly just to do her grocery shopping, especially for the fresh meat.
“Every day, they have a special,” she said.
“I love chicken, and they have the best deals in town on any type of chicken. And by coming here, I’ve found other deals in other areas. With a large family, you have to stock up.”
Tiffany Williams lives in the neighborhood and shops at Tops and Wegmans as well as discount grocers Aldi and Save-a-Lot, she said. But she comes into Super Price Choppers just about every other day.
It’s a “good store” with reasonable prices. “I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t,” she said.
The building had been vacant for a while when Kaid bought it.
Not knowing exactly what they would do with it, their first thought was to leave the building as is.
“We bought it so no one would come buy it and take us out of business,” Kaid said. “But when we came in, we saw it as a big opportunity.”
Still, the property required more than $100,000 in improvements and upgrades inside and out, said Guenther.
“The roof leaked. There were structural issues,” he said.
Some of the modifications included adding display cases and putting up signage.
Plans in the near future involve moving the storage area to a different location inside the store to increase usable space from 6,000 to 10,000 square feet, Guenther said.
McMillon is optimistic about the impact the store can have on the neighborhood and beyond.
“Maybe we can get a turnaround going on the East Side, starting with this store,” she said. “I believe it can turn around.”
Kaid and Guenther said that they will continue to do business in the community and that they’re in it for the long haul.
“We’ve been in the area for a long time,” Guenther said. “We are an active part of it. We get our incomes from it.”
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