When Rocky Patel first acquired the Shop For Less grocery store situated at 2208 N. Broad St., he said he saw potential. Located along a busy Broad Street strip by the Susquehanna-Dauphin subway station and a block away from Temple dorm White Hall, Patel said he “saw a future here.”
Now, Patel said he sees little foot traffic from Temple students, though he doesn’t blame his new business competitor, Fresh Grocer, located just six blocks away.
“People used to come here from Temple, but I don’t see them very much now,” Patel said inside his store, leaning against a counter scattered with three peanut jars and a saucy dip for a South Indian recipe. “I don’t know if they are buying from somewhere else, but it’s definitely overall because of the economy. Business is down.”
Patel, who was the last member of his family to emigrate from India to the United States 10 years ago, said he still sees the same community members coming into the store, but traffic remains slow. He seemed hesitant to say he was happy he’d bought the business.
“Two years before, the picture was different,” Patel said, folding his arms, “and now the picture is different. I would say not happy, but there’s nothing you can do. Hopefully things will pick up. That is why we’re here.”
Ashley Nguyen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.