Trader Joe’s fruit stand owners open store in Bensonhurst


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The owners of the favored fruit stand in entrance of Trader Joe’s in Cobble Hill have traded their sidewalk spot for a brick-and-mortar store in Bensonhurst, the place they’re promoting extra than simply cheap produce, mentioned one of many store’s owners. 

We have every kind of item — a little bit of Arabic, European, Turkish,” mentioned proprietor Barış Avcı, who opened King Fruit on the nook of 18th Avenue and 67th Street three weeks in the past together with his brother. “We have stuff to touch every person, not just American[s].”

King Fruit’s grand opening comes practically seven year after Avcı, a Kurdish man, moved to the US from Turkey. Avcı quickly bought a job working for a fruit vendor in Manhattan, however he and his brother, a yellow cab driver who had moved to the US just a few years earlier, determined they wished to open their very own stand, he mentioned. 

King Fruit sells all kinds of groceries in addition to contemporary produce.Courtesy of Barış Avcı

We didn’t have much money. We didn’t want to work for someone else, so we said, ‘Let’s start the fruit stand for ourselves,” Avcı mentioned. 

In 2015, the brothers opened their stand on the nook of Atlantic Avenue and Court Street outdoors Trader Joe’s. The cart shortly grew to become in style due to its low costs, and Avcı’s brother scored a budget produce by shopping for it wholesale from Hunts Point in the Bronx with a bunch of different fruit stand owners, Avcı mentioned.

The stand’s success allowed the brothers to open a second stand close to Borough Hall in Downtown Brooklyn. But when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, foot visitors round Downtown Brooklyn and Cobble Hill plummeted, forcing them to shutter their stands and scout new places in southern Brooklyn, the place the high-density, residential neighborhoods promised a extra regular move of consumers. (There is now one other fruit vendor outdoors Trader Joe’s, Avcı mentioned.)

In the autumn, the brothers arrange a fruit stand on the nook of 18th Avenue and 67th Street in Bensonhurst, which shortly took off, Avcı mentioned. The stand’s reputation impressed the brothers to maneuver completely into an empty storefront on the nook — a transfer that was solely doable as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic had lowered the realm’s business rents, Avcı defined.

Trader Joe's fruit stand
The brothers arrange a fruit stand outdoors King Fruit in the autumn earlier than opening the grocery store.Courtesy of Barış Avcı

“Before, there was no way we could rent a store. After COVID, a lot of businesses came down and the land owners, they don’t want to keep the store closed.”

Since the store’s grand opening, business has been good, Avcı mentioned. He rents an residence close to the store, and his brother travels down from his place in Carroll Gardens to work. Even Avcı’s sister and fogeys, who moved to the US after he did, come to assist out from time to time, he mentioned. 

And to the shoppers’ delight, the costs have remained as little as they all the time have been.

Business is good. It’s very busy because we’re keeping the price the same as the fruit stand,” he mentioned. “It’s better than we were expecting.”