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.
“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.”