Published: 03/11/2022 14:24:19
Modified: 03/11/2022 14:24:01
GREENFIELD – You can now find Hadley-grown butternut squash noodles under the same roof as okra powder imported from Ghana.
Benny’s Organic Market opened at 205 Main St. about a week ago after something of a soft opening, and owner Michael “Benny” Ayittey said the community has already made his 280-foot store shine. squares, where he sells imported products. foods from around the world as well as organic produce from the Joe Czajkowski Farm in Hadley.
“The prices are unbelievable,” he said this week. “We don’t have to go through a middleman, which cuts a lot of the cost, you know? And with inflation and everything, if you can keep it low, people will still come if the product is, you know, worthy.
Ayittey’s inventory is attractively displayed for passers-by, with shelves lined with items from Hadley, Asia and West Africa. Imported products include canned horse mackerel in tomato sauce, sardines in soybean oil and jarred shrimp powder. Merchandise from Ayittey’s native Ghana includes natural unsalted peanut butter specially processed for peanut butter soup – a staple of African cuisine – and a mix for making fufu, a dough-like food which usually accompanies the dish in Ghana.
“We are preparing to promote our No. 1 product – butternut squash oil,” Ayittey said. This product, made in Hadley, is typically used for seasoning, cooking, sauces and marinades.
“We can make very good prices on potatoes. We can make 67 cents a pound,” he said. “Because we go to Joe, we can always keep the prices low. And then there is little overhead.
Czajkowski said he thought he met Ayittey a few years ago in his farm’s pick-your-own strawberry field. He said Ayittey stopped by the farm to pick up organic produce for the store.
“Michael is a great guy. He put a lot of energy into it, and thought, and I really hope he makes it up there,” Czajkowski said. “I really wish him the best and I think that it will work for him.”
Ayittey lives in West Springfield, where he grew up and returned shortly before the pandemic after spending 12 years in Atlanta. He was looking for a storefront in the West Springfield area until someone suggested looking in Greenfield. He found the space at 205 Main St. on Craigslist and put down a deposit in August. The space had recently been the site of Albita’s tailor shop.
“It’s a nice, relaxing ride,” Ayittey said of her ride. “It allows me to process what I need to do before entering.”
He is a commodity broker by trade and also owns a consulting company, Golden Base Tech Solutions.
Customers can purchase products from bennysorganicmarket.com. The shop is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday to Saturday. Additionally, Ayittey uses DoorDash to deliver products. Ayittey can be contacted at [email protected]
Contact Domenic Poli at: [email protected] or 413-930-4120.
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