When news broke earlier this spring that a landmark grocery store on Bethlehem’s South Side would soon close, concerns grew that the urbanized area would slip further into the “food desert” category. Fortunately, that won’t be the case, after the Ahart’s building on Montclair Avenue was purchased by a businessman who owns other area supermarkets.
Juan Diaz, who owns the local C-Town chain of grocery stores, plans to open another market in the building called Ideal Food Basket, Channel 69 News reported recently.
The news station quoted Diaz as saying that the new store will be a full-service supermarket operated separately from the South Side C-Town, which is on Third Street.
Work on renovating the Ahart’s building has already begun and is evidenced by the two dumpsters that now occupy the store’s parking lot.
A banner hung over the Ahart’s Market sign on the front of the building and a large sign at Montclair Avenue and Broadway that advertises “Ideal Food Basket…Coming Soon” offered further proof that extensive renovations are under way.
According to the website IdealFoodBaskets.com, “Ideal Food Basket stores are members of America’s Food Basket LLC, a Cooperative of independent food grocers located in New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Georgia, Florida and Pennsylvania.”
“With more growth on the horizon, Ideal Food Basket grocery stores continue to have a strong mark throughout the neighborhoods of Queens, Brooklyn, Manhattan and Long Island,” the site’s About Us section states. “As we celebrate our 12th year anniversary, our focus remains on serving our customers and the communities we are in.”