Reopened Stockade market sells basics
SCHENECTADY The Stockade’s traditional grocery-market has reopened yet again.
Now under the fourth management in eight years, two immigrants from Yemen are hoping to make the former Arthur’s Market a success.
They’ve renamed the iconic store, putting up an old-style sign with the name Stockade Home Market.
Inside, it looks remarkably like it did when Arthur and Peter Polachek ran it — just less crowded.
The deli counter and small kitchen, added by previous managers, are gone. The shelves of groceries are back — and not just the highend groceries offered by one of the previous managers.
This store is going back to basics: garbage bags, dish soap, ketchup and mayo.
But there’s also a well-received cooler of fresh fruit, from Troy’s community gardens. The new manager, Maein Nagi, lives in Troy and sells the gardens’ fruit at his Troy store. He added a Community Gardens Veggie Mobile in response to requests from residents before he opened.
Nagi is running the store with his cousin, Jaber Mohamed, and the two will take turns keeping the store open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day.
Both of them are from Yemen — Nagi arrived eight years ago when his father got citizenship and was allowed to apply to bring over his family.
Nagi started working in convenience stores here because it was one of the few things he could do. “We didn’t speak English very well. This is the best thing we could do,” he said.
He’s taking it seriously, writing down every item that customers request.
“I’m writing down what they tell me I’m missing,” he said.
When Nagi proposed to rent the store and reopen it, some Stockade residents didn’t welcome him with open arms. They said they wanted a resident of the historic neighborhood to run the store, and said it would only prosper if its owner truly understood and valued the unique neighborhood.
Nagi thinks he’s won them over The only thing not on the list: now. beer. “They were asking a lot of ques-“No. No,” he said. “I’m not sell- tions — you know, this is a very ing alcohol.” nice area, who’s going to be in the He does sell cigarettes, but the store?” he said. “I talked with them, big sellers Monday were juice and and they saw I’m a nice guy.”
He didn’t take umbrage.
“I’m a businessman, you know. I should be able to get people to want my store,” he said.
He didn’t even know the name of the neighborhood when he fi rst proposed opening the store. But now he’s heard all about it — and he loves it.
He’s renting a house in the neighborhood, starting Nov. 1, and plans to walk to work. “It’s only a three-minute walk,” he said. “It’s very good, very wonderful here. This is a beautiful area. Those people in this area are very, very nice.”