For more than two decades, the owner of the newly named and renovated Cortelyou Market by Key Food has watched the world of Cortelyou Road evolve – witnessing its ups and downs, getting to know its neighbors, watching its kids grow from tiny toddlers to full-fledged adults.
Now, Khalid Doleh, better known as “Tony” to his customers, and his brother-in-law, Chuck, who co-owns the market with him, are getting ready to celebrate their own round of changes and will hold their grand opening festivities this Friday, February 27, and Saturday, February 28 at the store, located at 1610 Cortelyou Road.
Kicking off with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 11:30am on Friday, the two days of events mark the culmination of the shop’s nearly $1 million in renovations, which just wrapped up this week and increased the size of the store by about one-third – allowing the site that was previously Met Foods to offer an expanded organic produce and dairy section, as well as other specialty products.
And while the grand opening is, of course, about the shop itself, which has been in the neighborhood for the past 50 years and has been run by Tony and his family for the past 21 years, it’s also about celebrating Cortelyou, the owner said.
“I’m a big fan of Ditmas Park – and Cortelyou Road mainly,” Tony said to us Saturday afternoon, as his shop filled with customers shaking snow from bulky winter coats. “I could have called this Brooklyn Market, or Ditmas Park Market, but I called it Cortelyou Market. I love Cortelyou Road.”
All neighbors are welcome to attend the ribbon cutting, which will include local elected officials, as well as the other grand opening activities, which will run from 12-4pm both Friday and Saturday. There will be a range of entertainment, including a magician, stilt walker, and a popcorn cart. Plus, there will be free gifts, grand opening specials, and more.
“We’re very excited,” Tony said about the grand opening. “This is what the neighborhood wanted. It became very tight in the store; customers weren’t comfortable walking around.”
Now, with the expansion, the produce and dairy sections were able to significantly grow, with Tony pointing out that they get some of their produce from local farms, as well as from rooftop gardens.
“What I feed my kids – that’s what I want to give to my customers,” Tony said.
As for the name change, Tony said he wanted to be able to access the kind of price deals that Key Food offers, but with his own spin.
“I wanted to differentiate myself from a regular Key Food,” he said. “I didn’t just want to be a normal Key Food.”
With Tony’s grand opening, as well as the soon-to-be debut of a new restaurant from Café Madeline’s owner that is located next to the Cortelyou Market, Tony said a portion of Cortelyou that he feels some can overlook is growing by leaps and bounds.
“We’re going to make this the best part of Cortelyou,” Tony smiled.
For more information about the Cortelyou Market and the grand opening festivities, you can visit its Facebook page here.