Denise Kinney ran a child care business in Astoria before she said coronavirus restrictions shut her down.
Now Kinney will mostly be behind the counter at Astoria Downtown Market on Commercial Street after her family acquired the business from Samuel McDaniel. They hope to reopen the market by this weekend.
She will primarily run the market. Her husband, Steve, and son, Nathan, who work for the family’s excavation company, will fill in and have been helping her set up plexiglass, acquire masks and lay down the social-distancing markers.
“There have been a lot of people stopping by, saying they’re glad we’re reopening,” Denise Kinney said.
McDaniel, who took over the market in 2017, closed because of financial reasons. He recently won a prolonged legal battle with the federal government over the store’s inability to accept food stamps because of a prior drug conviction long before he took over the market.
The closure left few options for groceries downtown after the departure of the Astoria Co+op from the Shark Rock Building on Duane Street.
The Kinneys said they have been approved to take food stamps and hope to expand the market’s offerings of produce, prepackaged deli items and other fresh food. They have discussed partnering with Main Street Market in Warrenton to bring in meats and eventually hope to add an ice cream machine.
“Some day, I’d like to make it into a little deli,” Denise Kinney said.
It will take a while for people to get used to having a downtown market again, Steve Kinney said, but people have already been trying to stop by while they’re refreshing the inside and adding new signage.
“We’re going to kind of take it up another notch,” he said.