Written by The Westbury Times Staff Thursday, 17 October 2013 00:00
North Hempstead’s Community Development Agency (CDA), joined with elected officials and community leaders recently for the official grand opening of Ideal Food Basket, a full-service supermarket that has been long awaited in the New Cassel community.
With the grand opening of the Ideal Food Basket Supermarket at 735 Prospect Ave., residents will now have access to a wide array of foods including dairy, prime cut meats, delicatessen products, and a wide selection of fresh produce. But groceries weren’t the only thing the supermarket brought to the hamlet. It also brought jobs.
Molly Yearty, a single mother of three who has lived in New Cassel for more than 30 years, said the opening of the new supermarket has been a blessing for her and her family, as well as the community at large.
“It’s a wonderful thing to have a grocery store in the heart of the community,” said Yearty, who works as a cashier at the new supermarket and had been unemployed for two years. “It’s fantastic. Not only am I happy to be working again but now I can walk to work.”
The 9,300 square foot full service grocery store, part of the America’s Food Basket chain with 30 locations in the Northeast, began operation Sept. 23. So far 15 residents from the community have landed jobs at the newly-opened market, company representatives said.
“This has been a long journey,” said longtime resident and North Hempstead Town Councilwoman Viviana Russell, whose district includes New Cassel. “For too long, New Cassel has lacked some basic necessities. Now thanks to our residents, the leadership of former Town Supervisor Jon Kaiman’s administration and the support of partners in the federal, State and County governments, we are now well on our way to getting retail services many communities take for granted.”
County Legislator Robert Troiano, a New Cassel native and former North Hempstead Town Councilman, said the market was a long time coming, but worth the wait.
“So many residents in this community had difficulty getting to supermarkets on the outskirts of the community,” he said. “Now they have access to high quality food products within walking distance.”
The CDA, North Hempstead’s community development and revitalization arm, played an integral role in the massive ongoing New Cassel’s redevelopment initiative. The agency provided grants and loans to help acquire the property to build the new supermarket. They are now working to bring in a bank, another amenity the community has been without for decades.