A new market in Savin Hill, The Daily, is looking likely to open by this coming spring, filling the ground floor and basement space of a new commercial building on a parcel that for years has been the site of a shuttered variety store.
Business partners Aimee Morgida and Paul McGillivray will be managing the market at the corner of Sydney Street and Savin Hill Avenue. It will be the anchor tenant of James Baker’s two-building, mixed-use project, which will include nine neighboring condominium units and a fitness center in the building’s top floor.
"It really comes back to the community engagement process," Baker said this week. "We listened to the community. We had 400 surveys completed, and those took someone 20 minutes to complete, so this was a real exhaustive effort. And we heard what the community wanted and said, “look, let’s give the community what it wants.””
Morgida and McGillivray told the Reporter on Monday that they envision a daily needs market, with prepared foods, produce and other groceries, and grab-and-go options.
Located at 110 Savin Hill Ave., the roughly 3,000-square foot space sits beneath two floors of other commercial uses. “The downstairs is going to be kitchen area, storage; it’s going to be used to facilitate everything that’s happening on the ground floor for the convenience of the customer,” Morgida said. “There will be fresh-made prepared foods that will come from the kitchen that we have downstairs, as well as from some outside vendors. We’re really looking for the neighborhood customers to get what they’re really looking for — one woman put it really well: ‘I want my organic milk and my Frosted Flakes.’ We can do that.”
Focus groups and surveys for the neighborhood as the project got under way highlighted a niche the teamlook forward to filling.
“The neighborhood and consumers there want access to convenience options, in terms of buying their daily needs and wanting to have produce, prepared food,” McGillivray said, “certainly wanting to have a place that was convenient to have their staple items.”
The pair came on board with Baker and his development team around February or March of this year. Baker and his partner John McDonough, are “local men who really have a vision for how they deliver to the neighborhood and give back to the neighborhood,” Aimee Morgida said.
“We have long supermarket backgrounds, specifically, or most recently with Roche Bros.,” McGillivray added.
Morgida worked for Roche Bros. Supermarkets for almost a decade, and before that Whole Foods Market, according to her LinkedIn profile.
The Daily will not be a convenience store in a traditional sense, they note. It will not be replacing the Rite Aid down the block. But florals, baked goods, a deli, a small meat department will all be on site.
“A lot of our food will be grab and go, so people can come into the store and get their coffee, get their muffin, get on the train, come back, get dinner, go home,” Morgida said.
The market’s location puts it right across the street from a relatively new local business, Honeycomb, that specializes in farm-to-takeout coffees and teas and sandwiches. Morgida said they are “looking to be good neighbors… certainly not looking to hurt any of the small local businesses. We’re a small local business. We’re looking to be complementary.”
Glass for the commercial building arrived this week, which ushers in the next step of finishing off the siding and some interior work. A potential snag, though, is familiar to developers across the state at the moment -- gas. The project was supposed to have gas in June, Baker said, but the National Grid contract stalemate and moratoriums following gas explosions in the Merrimack Valley leave some uncertainty around when the building can open in full.
Editor’s note: an earlier version of the story misidentified two members of the market team.