New market has old community feel

November 25, 2009 4:54:22 PM PST
An independent grocery store in West University is being resurrected at Rice and Edloe, at what used to be JMH Market. When Jim Reid set out to recreate a piece of the history he never realized how big the response would be. Within days of opening his doors, he knew he was onto something big.

"We're basically running four times our projected numbers," Reid said. "The community has embraced it."

It's called Matthew's Market. It's a sort of mom and pop store founded on the principals of love, trust and faith. Modeled after the old JMH Market which had been a staple in West U for more than 40 years, much of what is here is inspired by the past.

Reid said, "The signage is all done, was done by me originally, from the old market. I carried on here all the art design and stuff like that. But it's the personalities that we brought over from the old market. There's a lot of people that have worked there before that are working here now."

But, it's not just the ambiance. The store and adjacent restaurant also have a sort of honor system -- an in-store charge account for customers who don't always carry cash.

"It was very unique about the old JMH," Reid said. "It was there for 55 years and we wanted to utilize the same thing. So it's worked very, very well for us."

For customers the market fills a void after the old JMH Market shut down.

Customer Sally Gilbert-Smith said, "It's a quick walk from our daughter-in-law's house and it's opposite the kids' school, so it's easy to find."

Matthew's Market provides convenience with a sense of nostalgia.

"It has the same feel, same community feel, but just a new, upgraded look," said customer Stephanie Rushing-Linkous.

That's something Reid says he's glad so many people appreciate.

He said, "We had a lot of faith. There was no doubt, no looking back. It was just push forward and the results are here."

The community outpouring has been huge. The restaurant is such a success that Reid hasn't been able to focus on the market. It's expected to open in a couple of weeks.

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