Last month, Ira Feldman, the longtime owner of Best Value Kosher Meats on Bustleton Avenue, told customers his grocery would be closing come early January. The only other option, Feldman noted, was the unlikely scenario that someone would offer to buy the place and try to make a go of it.
Lo and behold, that's exactly what happened.
While delivering meat and dairy products to the shop, Uri Peled, a 51-year-old Israeli-born man who's worked as a food distributor for more than 15 years, was shocked to hear that Feldman planned to close up shop.
And so, he began mulling over the idea of buying the place, and went back several times to talk with Feldman.
"I was standing here for three days, and I saw the volume of customers come crying and saying, 'How are you going to let us down like this?' " recalled Peled, a New Jersey resident. "I said, 'Listen, let's give it a shot.' "
Currently, the store is closed as it undergoes renovation. Peled said Best Value should reopen for business early next month.
He also noted his hope eventually to employ everyone who'd been working at the store before its sale, though at the beginning, "we have to cut back a little."
Feldman will not be a part of it; he's weighing his options.
Peled said he has a number of ideas about how to make the market attract enough volume.
"I want to maintain a landmark, and bring it back to what it used to be with hard work and with good vision. Hopefully, it's going to work."