By Brian Goodin
Photos by Brian Goodin
Mike’s Market at 3676 Ocean View Blvd is a landmark of sorts. It’s been at this location for quite some time, at least 60 years. It has been a very typical mom-and-pop store in the Southeast community of Ocean View for so many of its residents. When Loay Alosh took over four months ago as the new owner, it was no longer business as usual.
Loay is a very nice looking 42-year-old bearded gentleman from Iraq. He has been in the United States since 2009 and is living proof of the American dream. What he has done with his business should serve as an example for all to see.
In most mom-and-pop stores, you will see a family working together to make ends meet. Often, if it isn’t a family member, it will be someone of the same cultural background or race. Loay has broken ranks to a degree, because rarely will one see an African American working in and behind the cash register of a mom-and-pop store that is not owned by their own family. Mr. Alosh simply put the American dream back to work in this long time community of black people. He not only hired David Adams, a young African American man, but he continued to spread unity by also hiring Juan Tonsing, a young man of Latino and Asian descent.
If that isn’t enough, toward unifying this comm”UNITY,” he spoke with some “errr day” customers. The ones who have a tendency to buy and drink alcohol much too close to the other customers and the store business. He persuaded them to help clean up outside around the back of the store and parking lot rather than have the authorities come and handle matters another way.
Loay got rid of outdated merchandise which he said was at about 70 percent of his stock in the store. He lowered prices from the gouging that you may see in similar establishments. The problems in and around the store have decreased in such a manner that he has been able to increase store hours for his customers. The store once closed at 8:30 pm during the week. He has a new closing time of 11 pm. and 12 pm on weekends.
There is a noticeable difference at Mike’s Market because people really respond to a business when they feel the business responds to them in a positive way. Not just taking their money but treating them and showing them a sense of comm”UNITY.” And, members of the community can also pick up a copy of The Voice & Viewpoint newspaper in Mike’s Market.