KEEPING TRACK OF LOCAL EVENTS IS A CHALLENGE DURING THE YEAR – AND IT BECOMES EVEN MORE DIFFICULT DURING DECEMBER! SOME OF THESE EVENTS AND APPEALS ARE:TOY DRIVE Friday 12/13 Assemblyman Braunstein’s office, 213-33 39 Ave.
Suite 238, Bayside. Unwrapped new toys
MUSIC Church on the Hill. Call 718-358-3671 in the afternoon for December schedule
CHOIR Queens College Choral Society Concert, Saturday 12/14 at 8:00 pm. Call 718-793-8080 for tickets and details.
HYMNS St. Andrew Avellino Church, Northern Blvd and 158th St. Sunday 12/15 at 3:30 pm.
HOLIDAY LIGHTS Bowne Park, Sunday 12/22 at 4:30pm Join us for an afternoon of joyous celebration as we welcome the holiday season, sing to the music of Mike Barry and the Queens Community Children’s Choir! Enjoy hot cocoa and baked goods.
MESSAGE FROM OUR PRESIDENT
Although our neighborhood has great variety in its population – in ethnicity, age, profession, etc. – there is one critical element which is common to all of us – Marino’s!
Any conversation in our area which involves food also involves the go-to provider of life’s necessities (and delicacies) for virtually every family in our area. For a closer look at this very popular market and the source of the comment “I ran into _____ at Marino’s,” I sat down with Peter Marino recently for a quick chat on the beginnings of his business, trends he has noticed in feeding multiple generations of Broadway-Flushing, and the highly-anticipated opening of a second location on Utopia Parkway.
Peter Marino’s focus on service to the customer came from his background in the restaurant business. He opened his market on 29th Avenue in 1986, in a space that his father owned. Since the new grocery/deli/catering operation had owners with a history of greeting customers and making them feel at home, the market soon established itself with area shoppers. The restaurant was sold.
Kevin Morris: What was the most important factor in establishing and running your store?
Peter Marino: For me, it is to make people feel comfortable, like they are coming into their own home. And my employees and I have to do this every day. I would want to be treated as a restaurant patron would be treated. The store was built on this model.
KM: How do you track what is popular and what to stock? Do you have an automated inventory system?
PM: No. I am in the store 6 days a week. I talk to the shoppers and get their likes and dislikes first-hand. I want to hear the good and the bad, I have to know likes and dislikes on an immediate basis. By walking around, I have a better grasp on my customers’ thoughts and can make changes faster. I am old-school, not a corporate person. I know what’s down here [Mr. Marino gestures to the orderly stacks of boxes in the vast basement of the store, which also features a large commercial kitchen].
KM: Have you noticed any changes over in the 30 years at this location?
PM: There are more men coming in now, especially on Saturday and Sunday. And with two people working in most families, there has been an increase in the prepared food and meat department. All our deli is made fresh daily, none is kept around.
KM: With this trend, I have noticed large freezer cases in supermarkets. Has the frozen food selection and sales also increased?
PM: No – the opposite. We did more in the past, but in the last five years customers are buying more of our products. For instance, canned tomatoes used to be a big seller; but our customers prefer our sauces to go with their recipes.
KM: Does Marino’s train the deli personnel or hire experienced only?
PM: Even if we hire an experienced person, that person will work with one of the regulars to learn our way. There is a certain way to treat the people who walk into our store, and the employees have to learn it.
KM: It seems like Marino’s is always busy, but is there a busy season?
PM: Christmas, and Easter. A lot of orders all at the same time.
KM: Will the new store be any different from the first one?
PM: The new store is a little bigger than this one and each department will be slightly larger. With the two-person working model, with no time to cook, there will be more space for grab-and-go dinners. We are also working with another company for an on-line ordering system. We hope to open after the New Year. The area is busy (46th AV and Utopia Pkwy) and the parking is never enough – we’ll do the best we can.
KM: At this point, you are feeding the second generation of Broadway Flushing residents. What are your thoughts on this record?
PM: I’ve seen children come in with their parents, I’ve watched them grow up. Some of these kids become employees. And when they start families and bring their own children to visit me, it is very, very satisfying. I hope we are here for a long time to come.
Stores can make (or break) a neighborhood. Broadway Flushing has that small-town feel, with houses set back from the street, a lot of trees and lawns, and stores within walking distance. A critical element of the area’s appeal is the consistent quality and warm reception on 29th Ave. and 163rd St. Megamalls in the suburbs have anchor stores – we have Marino’s.
There’s still time to Pay your dues or make a donation to the BFHA Legal Reserve Fund and now it’s even easier than ever! We now accept Credit Cards and Paypal. THE MORE MEMBERS WE HAVE THE STRONGER OUR VOICE!
Department of Sanitation snow removal rules:
7:00am and 4:59pm – you must clear within four hours
5:00pm and 8:59pm – you must clear within fourteen hours
9:00pm and 6:59am – you must clear by 11:00am
Order a plaque for your home or as a gift for your neighbor. If you would like to order a plaque, please visit our website and select “Order a Plaque” This will take you directly to the manufacturer who has given a 10% discount for all Broadway-Flushing Plaques. If you need help installing your plaque reach out to us because we know who the “handy” neighbors are and they would love to help you!
Melanie LaRocca, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Buildings was the principal speaker at the Broadway-Flushing Homeowners Association Fall general membership meeting. Ms. LaRocca grew up in the neighborhood and she spoke fondly about returning to her roots before describing her department’s role. She outlined its responsibilities and the many challenges it faces. Compliance with building codes, enforcing zoning restrictions, assuring workers’ safety and providing appropriate training are primary. The Commissioner said they have to respond to many thousands of complaints, especially about illegal conversions, unsafe building practices and unlicensed work.NYC Council Member Paul Vallone also attended the meeting and gave an update on school expansions, restorations at Bowne Park and the participatory budgeting process. He and LaRocca answered audience questions on topics including permits, illegal conversions, the inspection process which can be frustrating when trying to gain access to a building and using the New York City website for information. An audience member urged elected officials to enact legislation that would help to alert home buyers about deed restrictions and covenants on properties before they buy a property and learn that there is an issue.
Kevin Morris, the Association’s thirtieth President, introduced Inspector Keith Shine Commander of the NYPD 109th precinct, who spoke about safety in the community and cautioned that burglaries are always a problem. He said that people should use lights as a deterrent, remember to lock windows and doors, trim the shrubbery around windows and use safety devices where possible. He reminded the audience of the very important “If you see something, say something!
Mr. Morris also gave an update on association activities in the community. He mentioned attending Block Watch meetings, working with volunteers to clean up properties, reaching out to new home owners and actions to enforce covenants. The association’s website is: broadwayflushing.org.
Best wishes from the Broadway Flushing Homeowners’ Association for a merry end to 2019 and
for a healthy and prosperous 2020!