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New Sussex market features local food, tempting take-out

By Scott Pettigrew Jun 6, 2023 | 11:00 AM

Right behind the main counter of the newly opened Pleasant Valley Market in Sussex, a skilled pizza chef hand tosses a disc of fresh dough high in the air. It’s part of the takeout service the newly opened convenience store, is offering.

Fish and chips, donairs, seafood, and of course, pizza are all on offer at 210 Main St, general manager Tanya Brown says.

“There was a lot of interest even before we opened the doors from the locals,” Brown says of the weeks leading up to the market’s opening in mid-May.

And it’s no wonder the new business was piquing the interest of the community.

Co-owned by members of the Georgoudis family of Saint John region Vito’s Pizza and Restaurant fame, and members of the Hooper family who run Uncle Mayn’s restaurant and convenience in the coastal town of St. George and the Milltown Market in the border town of St. Stephen, Pleasant Valley Market has much more than the usual gas station fare.

There is a steady stream of customers popping in to peruse the aisles of grocery goods as well as the fresh produce out on open display and in-house butchered meats in the floor-to-ceiling coolers which line the wall.

“I have an area that’s left for local vendors,” Brown explains of the almost full store space. “I have Barbour’s coming in, I have Mrs. Dunster’s coming in, I have Archie’s Bakery coming in.”

She says Pleasant Valley will also be reaching out to other local vendors, not necessarily of food items, to offer them some space on market shelves.

“If [visitors to the region] stop, they can see what’s available locally and we can direct them to their businesses. We really want to encompass local.”

The tall fridges and freezers along the back of the store hold everything from milk and cheese to whole seasoned chickens ready for the grill and freshly made meat and veggie shish kababs, to frozen fruit and vegetables, and even a McCain’s Deep and Delicious cake for dessert.

The store is also selling house-made grab-and-go family dinners in the frozen food section, including their own Georgoudis Brothers brand lasagna.

“We have the takeout, the huge kitchen and we have a warehouse space plus we have a walk-in cooler, a walk-in freezer and our meat cutting room and meat grinding room,” Brown says.

“Down the road, we’re looking at soups, stews, things like that. We want to be able to utilize everything instead of having any waste in the butcher shop.”

Brown says they’re looking into offering packaged salads, deli meats and other ready-to-go meals.

“It’s just a matter of us growing and developing,” Brown says. “We just want to perfect the fish and chips, get the pizza down pat, the donairs and the lobster rolls perfect – and then we will introduce other items to the takeout.”

The Pleasant Valley building which was originally divided into a convenience store, a Habitat for Humanity Restore as well as an Exit Realty has been consolidated into the new market space at 210 Main Street, right where the highway traffic enters town via Route 121.

“We get a lot of campers here that are stopping for propane,” Brown explains, noting that the market is the only propane dispensary in town apart from exchange programs. That brings in the campers as well as the balloon enthusiasts that the Sussex region is known for. “We do fill tanks here, that’s a service that no one else offers.”

Brown says working with this team of seasoned professionals in the food and convenience business has been a great experience.

“I know they’d been looking at properties in Sussex and when this location became available they jumped on it because they knew the location was just prime here,” she says.

“What they decided the vision was when they set forth is exactly what’s been built…. It was a really big collaboration and it worked really well.”

Alex Graham is a reporter with Huddle, an Acadia Broadcasting content partner.


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