ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The owners of a new grocery store set to open in downtown Albuquerque say they want to end what they call the “food desert” in that area.
The Silver Street Market is not quite done, but the owners say they think people will be flocking to get their groceries there soon.
“I’ve been hearing about it for about 15, 20 years,” said Albert Chavez, Store Manager.
Workers at Silver Street Market are busy working to get the spot turned into a grocery store.
Owners Rob and Kelly Ortman say it is something they have been waiting a long time for.
“Yes, it’s a very long time coming and a long time in planning, a long time with design and a long time with construction,” Kelly Ortman said.
The roughly 12,000 square foot store sits inside the Imperial Building on Silver, between 2nd and 3rd.
The building finally broke ground in January of 2015 after Mayor Richland J. Berry pushed for an area grocery store and offered up the land in 2012.
“I know everyone is very anxious to have the store open and we’re just as anxious to get it open,” Ortman said.
The excitement is building because of the lack of a grocery store in downtown, a growing area for businesses, homes and apartments.
“There’s a lot of people around and since we did our initial research there’s been even more people that have moved in downtown,” Ortman said.
“There’s a lot of business out here, people will be able to just stop by here before they do go home,” Chavez said.
They say the store will have everything shoppers need and will keep it local. With everything from produce, fresh meats, to beer from surrounding breweries, and even food to go.
“It’s not like any other store, it’s not like Trader Joe’s, it’s not like Whole Foods, it’s not like Smith’s, it’s its own thing,” Ortman said.
The Ortmans are born and raised in Albuquerque and say shopping local is huge for them.
“You gotta keep the money in the city,” Ortman said.
The owners say their construction schedule has pushed back the opening several times. They hope to finally open for business in mid-August.
The store is holding a job fair looking to hire nearly 30 workers in all sections of the store.
They’ll hold interviews Monday at Workforce Solutions and Thursday at the Hispano Chamber.