After testifying to the Floral Park Board of Trustees of his intention to open a Korean deli in the village, the hopeful owner shared a racist confrontation he witnessed prior to the Tuesday night hearing.
Giwoong (James) Im, a Korean American, described his plans to the board of directors and villagers to open a Korean deli and convenience store on 75 Covert Avenue in Floral Park. After the town hall hearing, Im told of an incident that occurred outside of his leased property in which a neighbor asked his workers to leave the country.
“He had told my workers to return to their home country,” Im said in an interview with Blank Slate Media. âWhen I spoke to the lady [another resident], she was very, very passionate that we weren’t there, not welcome here. “
I said that as soon as he took out his camera to record the altercation, the resident said nothing and “the bigotry that came out just a minute earlier just completely disappeared.”
Some of the local residents involved in the confrontation were present at the public hearing, according to Im, and made their public comments on the proposal. Blank Slate Media was unable to confirm which local residents were involved in the confrontation.
âI think a lot of that energy is being charged through this racial interaction,â Im said. âI’m sure you felt that energy while you were there. Something is wrong Why are you so against this grocery store? “
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“We have an Italian deli, an Italian bakery, a German deli, a bagel store, Carvel, and a 7/11,” said Anthony Difrancesca, a resident of Floral Park. “I really don’t think we need another grocery store.”
Trash from the proposed business was a problem.
âA dumpster is a great idea, except on a hot summer day,â said Difrancesca. âThe stench is unbearable. And I can confirm that from the grocery store across the street from my house. “
I testified that he would store his rubbish in it until the village’s scheduled pick-up times and considered refrigerating his rubbish.
Another resident raised concerns about the ambiguity of the proposal’s plans, including the kitchen appliances used.
“I think there’s a lot of uncertainty about what’s really going to happen in this place,” said Jay Piskin. “If this is to move forward, there has to be a very ironclad agreement about what will happen from Day 1.”
Piskin also mentioned the dangers deliveries would pose, citing how a truck could block the corner of Cunningham Avenue and Covert Avenue.
I explained that deliveries would not arrive in semi-trailers, but with “mostly box trucks, delivery vans, [or] some personal vehicles. âHe also said that if a food delivery component could be implemented for his customers, drivers wouldâ prefer to work by bike â.
Although this would be his first deli to own, Im has been in the grocery business since he was nine and spent the last five years as a supermarket manager at Key Foods. If its special use permit is approved, the deli would be named “Kerry’s Market” after its only daughter, who is 4 years old.
“This is my dream and your dream rolled into one,” I said. âI won’t let anything stop me. This stuff just rolls off my shoulders and I’ll just rush forward and try to work with these people. “