Nov. 12, 2014 By Michael Florio
A new organic foods store will be opening on 30th Avenue by the owners of Mini Star Restaurant.
The store, called Mini Star Gourmet, will be located next door to the restaurant at 38-16 30th Ave and will sell items such as organic oils, gluten-free cake mixes, and vegan food options, according to owner Maria Pakkoo.
“These are things you can’t get around here,” Pakkoo said.
Pakkoo, who aims to open the store by Christmas, said she did some research and was surprised to learn that there was a lack of gluten free or vegan products for sale in the neighborhood.
“People are really into these healthy alternatives now and they are hard to find in the area,” she said. “We want to bring something new to the neighborhood.”
She said a lot of the items she hopes to sell are available online but not in local stores.
“We will offer the convenience of being able to run to the store and pick them up,” she said.
The store will also have a deli section where it will offer sandwiches, salads and paninis. It will not be a sit-down restaurant—since there are likely to be just two or three tables at the front of the store.
While the majority of the items will be organic products, there will be other options such as red velvet cake and Godiva chocolates.
Pakkoo said the store will be a family run business, similar to Mini Star Restaurant, just next door. The restaurant has been in her family for more than 20 years.
Pakkoo said Mini Star Gourmet has been in the works for over two years.
Originally, Pakkoo and her family had hoped to take over this location and extend the restaurant. However, she said they were dealing with two separate landlords so it was difficult to work out.
Pakkoo said they then decided on an organic food store.
However, “There’s been one obstacle after another,” she said. “Knock on wood we hope to open by Christmas.”