Martin’s Express in Goshen opened its doors 10 a.m. Thursday, May 7, bringing a crowd of curious and eager customers to do some shopping and try the new Side Door Deli Cafe.
The new Martin’s store opened at the former Save-A-Lot location at 1401 College Ave. The grocery store was closed for several months while renovations were made.
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1401 College Ave., Goshen
Hours: 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily
The new grocery store on College Avenue offers all the same products that other Martin’s stores do, but in a smaller space.
“There was a real demand for more than just a Save-A-Lot,” Rob Bartels, CEO and president of Martin’s Super Markets, said in an April 28 interview. “The limited assortment format is great but it doesn’t offer a whole lot of choice. And so folks that live in that area, they wanted more and that became clear over the last few years of business.”
Bartels added that there seems to be a north/south divide in Goshen and there weren’t very many places in that part of town where shoppers could get fresh produce and meat.
“There’s a lot of flavor profiles nowadays,” he said. “And so the ingredients have to represent what folks like to do and this gives them the opportunity to serve a broader menu.”
By noon, just two hours after the ribbon-cutting ceremony, customers flooded the store. The Side Door Deli area and patio were packed with those who wanted to try a new lunch option.
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Dean and Dorothy Slagel were eating lunch in the outdoor patio. They live in Greencroft, and were eager to see the new store.
“We liked going to Martin’s over by the tracks (on the north side of Goshen),” Dean said. “I’m glad we don’t have to drive that much to go grocery shopping any more, and we appreciate the bike rack.”
The bike racks were full at times with many, including staff and faculty from Goshen College, riding their bikes to the store for lunch.
“It’s just nice to see a store open here again,” Goshen College staff member Neal Friesen said. “Save-A-Lot was OK, but this has a better selection.”
Friesen and Katie Dwyer-Zeman, another Goshen College staff member, rode their bikes to Martin’s Express for lunch.
“The building is completely unrecognizable inside, I mean, it’s crazy to think that this was the Save-A-Lot, and it’s awesome,” Dwyer-Zeman said.