Focusing on good, healthy, tasty and local food, Peter Kehayias and his wife, Yuko Hashimonto-Kayhayias, have opened a new market in Chester on Middlesex Avenue. The name of the market is Organon, which is Greek for handmade.
Tired of reading labels in big box supermarkets, trying to make sure that what she was buying was healthy for her two young daughters, Yuko wanted to create a place where customers could be certain that everything they put in their shopping cart was healthy and good for them. Yuko enlisted the help of Peter for this venture as he is a seasoned businessman in the area, having run the popular Pataconk Restaurant in downtown Chester for some years.
“Our kids had a lot to do with us starting this business. As parents, we wanted to make sure that what are kids were eating and what we were eating was good for us and healthy,” explains Peter about the business.
The market has a diverse offering of culinary delights including Greek, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese fare. Offerings include fresh, from scratch, handmade, fully prepared lunch and dinner specials, grab and go or by the pound salads and side dishes, vegetarian and gluten and diary free choices, as well as Boars Head cold cuts and cheeses.
In addition, there is a full bakery on site, creating an assortment of fresh from the oven pastries, pies and cakes of all varieties including gluten and dairy free options. Specials include traditional baklava, fresh fruit crostada, (an open faced tart with seasonal fruit) decadent cheesecake, New York style or flavored, tasty scones with yogurt and granola pie. The bakery also makes special order birthday and wedding cakes.
Throughout the aisles of this natural market, shoppers can choose from local goodies one can’t find in traditional grocery stores. Items such as Solavedi baby items from Guilford, Oak Leaf Dairy goat milk soap from Lebanon, Des’s Deadly Dash chili powder from Chester, Essex Garlic from Essex, Yummy Hummy fresh made hummus from New London fill the shelves. There is also a wide array of fresh local, in season produce and breads from Chabasa Bakery in New Haven, Fabled Foods in Deep River and Howards Bread, as well as fresh baked bread and rolls made in house.
“We try and support local as much as we can,” explains Yuko. “We personally visit each farm that we have products from, so we know how things are made and sample the products so we know they are good, fresh and healthy and something we want to pass along to our customers.”
With customer satisfaction a number one priority for the couple, they have a message board front and center in the store, giving customers the opportunity to express what products they would like to see in the store and suggestions about what they are looking for and need.
“We want people to let us know what they want,” says Yuko. “We try to make sure that if someone makes a suggestion about a specific product they would like to see here, that we get it within a week or so. That’s why we still have a little extra space in the store, so we can make sure we get the things our customers really want.”
Another unique aspect of this special store is that all the ingredients used to make their delectable lunch and dinner specials come from the products carried in the house, so customers who want to re-create the same dishes at home, can buy everything they need right on site.
As if all this, along with exceptional, one of kind daily specials from both the deli and the bakery, isn’t enough to entice new customers to come in and check out this uncommon store, it’s also a very environmentally conscious business that should be applauded for its “green” awareness.
Organon is using geothermal technology for its air conditioning and heating and solar thermal panels for its hot water. It has purchased an environmentally safe Chevy Volt as its delivery vehicle and will soon be installing a charging station outside to be used by the community.
“Basically, we wanted to create a market where it would be easy for people to choose healthy, natural products to feed their families,” concludes Yuko.
“We hope everyone stops by to check us out and likes what we have to offer.”
The store, which is open Tuesday through Fridays 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and weekends 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., has themed monthly tastings on the first Sunday of the month, so be sure to check them out. For more information go to www.organonmarket.com.