Howard Beach Locals Celebrate Return Of Grocery Store Shuttered By Sandy
Some residents of the Howard Beach section of Queens were celebrating on Saturday the reopening of a family-owned grocery store that was wiped out by Hurricane Sandy. Borough reporter Ruschell Boone filed the following report.
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What's in a grocery store? A lot, if it's the only one in the neighborhood. Some Howard Beach residents celebrating Saturday's reopening of Howard Beach Dairy store, a family-owned business that was wiped out by Hurricane Sandy.
"We took the store for granted," said customer Carolyn McGuire. "You know, we take everything in our lives for granted."
Many customers, including McGuire, said they did not realize how important the grocery store was until it was gone.
There is another grocery store in this neighborhood, but it is still not clear when it will reopen. The stores on Cross Bay Boulevard are a few miles away.
"Just being able to go get a bottle of water or a cup of tea or a cup of coffee, we had to travel out, go to the boulevard. You know, it was difficult," McGuire said.
"It was a pain to go traveling far," said another customer.
"Even the boulevard, some of them are closed. Here it's great. You get your sandwich, your coffee. They're like family," a third customer said.
The family-run business, which has been handed down from generation to generation, has been at the corner of 159th Drive and 102nd St for decades, but Hurricane Sandy destroyed it.
In December, NY1 reported about Brian Segur and his cousin Matthew, who were trying to rebuild the store while repairing about a half-dozen family homes also damaged by the storm.
"That guy, he worked his full-time job, he was here every single day until late into the night to get this store open. I wish him nothing but the best," McGuire said
Segur now has to try to recoup the tens of thousands of dollars he spent to get his store open again, and a lot more needs to be done to get the store back to where it used to be.
"We're just starting to make it and hopefully we'll get it back. You know, really we're not going to make it back in one week but eventually we'll get it," Segur said.
He just might, if the constant ringing of the register is any indication.