Upscale market opens on Hillside

Upscale market opens on Hillside

Three brothers and their father, all from Roslyn Heights, are hoping that their new Bell Foods supermarket on Hillside Avenue in Herricks will strike a chord with local shoppers.

The trio, Mike, Nick and Tony Kumar, were already partners in the telecommunications business as calling card wholesalers. But they shared an aspiration to get into the retail food business when the right opportunity occurred, according to eldest brother Mike, who said he and his brothers had all worked in supermarkets several years ago.

Kanahya Lal Sardonna, the familhy patriarch, said his eldest son boasts 12 years of experience working in a Queens supermarket.

Then, about 18 months ago, they saw a large, empty storefront west of Herricks Road on HIllside Avenue and they saw the potential to realize their aspiration.

“We saw the building was empty and we saw an opportunity,” Mike Kumar said, adding that the property also had plenty of parking space.

The 23,000-square foot store had its grand opening last week, and will be staffed with 45 to 50 full-time employees, according to Kumar.

Kumar said Bellfoods is seeking to distinguish itself from other supermarkets in the area by offering higher-quality goods, fresh produce, a selection of international foods and an Internet cafe, serving coffee, tea and juice drinks, and equipped with a Wi-Fi connection. He noted that it also has a large cheese section and a delicatessn counter.

We are serving all international foods here. We wanted to do something different, and we did,” said Kumar.

Bellfoods’ international aisle has a selection of Italian, Irish, Indian, Mexican, Korean and Kosher foods.

Asked about the risk of opening a business in the face of the current economic malaise, Kumar suggested that the risk was minimal.

“No matter whether economic are good or bad, you know that people have to buy food,” he said.

At the grand opening, the Kumars credited Councilman Angelo Ferrara with making Bellfoods possible.

Ferrara said he helped them to sort out details about the facility with the Town of North Hempstead building department.

“They were running into roadblocks with the town building department. I just put them all in the same room,” Ferrara said.

Members of the Greater New Hyde Park Chamber of Commerce were on hand to explore the new facility at Thursday’s grand opening.

“I think it’s great to see a new business opening in the area,” said Stewart Small, president of the New Hyde Park chamber. “We don’t have anything in the area at this level.”

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