Rob Gerson closed Auburn’s Main Street Market at the end of May, closing out 18 years of ownership.
Seems, however, the 55-year-old building itself was not meant to make the dreary slouch and slide into one of those derelict, boarded-up urban husks that accumulates broken windows and graffiti.
Neither was it destined to be part of a faceless chain store.
Meet Paul and Ashu Singh, and their son, Jaisal, the Kent family that bought the building in June and has since reopened it as Auburn Main Supermarket.
“We are cleaning up this place to make it better, and we’ll continue to run it as a grocery store,” Paul Singh said. “Our goal is to serve the community in and around this area.”
As of last Saturday, the shelves were mostly empty, but that in itself speaks of a story just beginning, of tales not yet told, of a cast of characters who will come and add their parts to make the store what it’s going to be.
But things will start hopping when the store’s supplier completes all it has to do in the next few days.
“We’re just waiting for our distributor, finalizing some of the store details as far as the floor plan, and hopefully next week or so we’ll be filled up,” Singh said.
Mr. Singh came to the United States in 1993, as so many before him have done, “looking for a better life.”
“I started out from the ground up. Everything I do, I try to do right. I worked in construction for several years, I worked at convenience stores, I worked at McDonald’s. Whatever came along, I worked hard at,” Singh said.
That includes the family-owned convenience store in Burien.
Ashu Singh said the community’s response to the new kids on the block has been relentlessly positive.
“We have heard very positive responses, everybody is happy to have a grocery store here. People were getting nervous,” said Ashu Singh.
The Singhs brought along Stephanie Buck from their store in Des Moines, to do, Buck said, a little bit of everything.
When the store is fully stocked but at a date not yet determined, there’ll be a grand opening
“We want people to come here, they don’t need to hesitate,” Ashu Singh said.