Have you seen the changes at Ava’s Downtown Market and Deli? It used to be the old Mountain View Market on Castro Street and now it’s a clean healthy grocery store that reflects the diversity of Mountain View. The owners, Juan and Ann Origel, tell me that the transformation is still taking place and that lots more things will be happening in the future, but I’m still very pleased with what I’ve seen. It’s feels to me like Whole Foods better prepare for some serious competition. I live and work downtown and the idea that I can walk to a neighborhood market that has organic fruits and vegetables, Acme bread (which is made in Mountain View), locally raised grass-fed beef and organic eggs is quite appealing. I recently pulled out my juicer and I’ve been making lots of juice. It’s amazing how many apples and beets I can go through in a week and Ava’s has lots of fresh, organic produce. And the prices on the produce are really reasonable.
The owners, Juan and Ann, are in the store everyday. If you want them to carry something specific, you should stop by and introduce yourself. I’m sure that they would be happy to hear what products the neighborhood wants. That’s exactly why I’m writing about them right now instead of waiting until they’re done remodeling the store. They need to hear from the community about what we want. We all wanted a good quality grocery store downtown for years, and finally, we have it. I think we should all do our best to support them.
I asked for frozen pie crust because I couldn’t find it in their freezer section and they immediately started ordering some for me. Honestly, I can’t think of very many other stores that would be willing to take special requests from their customers. I wouldn’t even begin to know how to ask for something special from a big store. The small independent grocers in our community are competing with really huge companies that have tremendous buying power, but those big stores aren’t really connected to the neighborhood. No one says, “Hi Heidi” when I enter Safeway, but they know me at Ava’s Downtown Market. Actually, I’ve heard Juan call customers by their names quite a few times. I connected to them on Facebook and I feel good about buying groceries from them. It just occurred to me today that I can probably request special items via their Facebook page too. I think I’ll try that the next time I dream up something specific that I want them to carry for me. I love Ava’s Downtown Market and Deli and I love downtown Mountain View.