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Urban Market opens with promise of competitive prices

2-14 50th Avenue

2-14 50th Avenue

Nov. 14, 2014 By Christian Murray

Hunters Point’s second supermarket—Urban Market– opened on 50 Avenue today with the promise of providing residents the lowest prices in the neighborhood.

Sam Mujalli, the owner of the 8,000 square foot store, said that his supermarket will provide Foodcellar (which has been the only supermarket in the area since it opened in 2008) with some stiff competition.

Mujalli claims that his prices will be between 15% and 18% cheaper than Foodcellar’s. He said that he can provide these low prices since he has 11 supermarkets scattered throughout New York City and can buy in bulk. Furthermore, he said, his family has deep roots– and connections– in the industry.

Sam Mujalli

Sam Mujalli

“My family has been in the supermarket business for 45 years,” Mujalli said. “We didn’t just open a store overnight. My grandfather started it and then it went to my father and then me,” he said.

Mujalli said that his grandfather opened a tiny store in Detroit before moving to New York and setting up a small store in Brooklyn. The family’s first big store was a Met Food in a tough section of the Bronx, he said.

“Every two weeks people would come in to the store and take our money,” Mujalli said, as he rolled up his fingers into the shape of a gun. The family no longer owns that store.

Mujalli said that 50 percent of the produce he will offer at Urban Market will be organic, with the remainder standard items. “You have to give people a choice,” he said.

The store has a large produce department as well as an extensive cheese selection and a gourmet deli.

Several elected officials came to the store to offer their support at the opening this morning—such as Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, State Sen. Mike Gianaris and Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer.

Gianaris said the store was needed since there has been a lack of supermarkets in the area for some time. He predicted the supermarket would do well.

Meanwhile Mujalli said that he was excited to open in Hunters Point and appreciated the buzz surrounding the opening of the supermarket.

“Lots of people have been on Facebook and Instagram in the past two months wondering when we were opening.”

urbanmarket2
email the author: news@queenspost.com

14 Comments

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Key food/urban market/whatever you call it

Checked it out last weekend. Looks really nice and clean and has mainstream brands at mainstream prices. The aisles were a little tight, so I will probably try to visit on off hours… Will be curious to see what it looks like in a month or so after people have been in and out. So often we see new mainstream supermarkets open (Stop n shop, food bazzaar, etc) that are gorgeous and maintained for the first month or two, and then they go to pot and resemble the key food on 44th and 21st.

Also would have been nice to see them do some “new store opening” type of events to get the people in the door – sampling, or even just some refrigerator magnets or something, they aren’t located on a highly trafficked road and sadly, not everyone reads licpost!

A clinic would be great – really good suggestion!

Reply
Al

Haven’t seen it yet. I’m familiar with Key Food and am not a fan, but I do wish them well and hope they can stck around. I also wouldn’t mind a Trader Joe’s or even a Whole Paycheck. Each has its place and would enrich the neighborhood. Variety and options are a good thing!

Reply
Felicidad

Surely this supermarket is not bad, but I certainly would have preferred a Trader Joe´s, as Paul says. It would be perfect!
It is also true that this area needs a medical clinic.
Anyway, little by little, this area is growing and it is good that are opened shops and business, but better if they have quality and good service.

Reply
Mike

Went in on Saturday
nice clean store
very happy to have it in the neighborhood

food cellar needs competition
they actually have Entemanns woohoo

true ny’ers know

thank god

Reply
Flannel

I just stopped by yesterday and the owner is right – their prices are definitely cheaper than Food Cellar and also FreshDirect. They also sell more mainstream brands rather than the high end stuff. One of the reasons they’re likely able to do this is that this market is part of the Key Food franchise. I’m so happy that they opened.

Reply
Anonymous visitor

Can’t wait to stop in. Food Cellar is crazy expensive!!! The produce is priced sky high and it’s not always fresh!

Reply
Paul

Problem is that this place ain’t nothin but a glorified Key Food’s. Check for yourself. New paint scheme on walls and branding, but sadly a Key Food store. Passssss.

Reply
Anonymous

It’s a grocery store. It sells food. It sells other stuff you need for your household. Now you don’t have to drive to another neighborhood to stock your fridge or blow away money needlessly in the other places we have. We are finally getting the kinds of businesses people in the area have been clamoring for many years.

And yet you aren’t happy? Good lord, WHY? What is it about a normal grocery, places that have existed in NYC and other cities for decades, that you deem to be so offensive that it warrants a nasty little thumbs-down? What’s next, complain about a diner or a news agent?

I really can’t understand some of the people coming to NYC.

Reply
paul

the thumbs down are not mine. Those are from visitors of my post. their opinion/response. But hey look, there are 2 thumbs UP! meaning, now, there are at least 3 of us who do not like your conventional dinosaur ever existent grocery store.
I’ll tell you why i don’t like it. It’s simple – not needed! You say the hood needs this type of store? desperately? Why, bcs the “hood” is too lazy to walk 10 min walk (or 1-2 min car ride to Murray park in LIC and shop at the Key Foods there if they need? (or whatever the equivalent junk chain grocery store stands there). Furthermore, the space that this giant imposter store (let’s face it, it still a key foods replica, stocked with key foods product, owned by key food sole owner) occupies is a waste and could have gone to something more useful, like a Trader Joe’s or a clinic! Yeah, the “hood” desperately needs one of those instead. There isn’t one, look around. Sick of catching cabs to UES every time I need to see a doc or emergency or do not feel well. Can accidentally die up in here in LIC, no access to a single medic. The purpose that this new store hopes to fill has already been filled. Around 18 years ago (or more, not sure), bu the Korean Deli on Vernon/50th. That place never closes, has Ok prices and has every.single.thing one can imagine/needs. Period.
This neighborhood is unique. It’s not a rich neighborhood, yet not poor. Unique stores should pop up here. With tasty gourmet food and fresh interesting offerings. Not pop tarts, sugared cereal and key foods meat (yuk). As such, a Trader Joe’s would have filled that void WAY better. They serve to discerning tastes. Much like ones of people of LIC.
I can go on and on. But you get the drift. You don’t have to agree, to each his own. Opinions are like a**holes. Everyone’s got one!

Reply
Blah

I can’t even begin to wrap my mind around this level of entitlement so I’ll just be happy to see you’re still in the distinct minority.

Anonymous visitor

Well then, I’m certainly glad I won’t be running into you while I’m shopping. Get a life!

SMDH

You do know there is a clinic opening up in the space next to the Key Foods soon, right?

And, you think Trader Joe’s is for discerning tastes? That’s actually cute.

jy

Praise the lord! Im tired of traveling outside of lic to go food shopping because of the high prices of the food cellar! Best wishes to Sam and urban market!

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