When Wegman’s left the north side neighborhood in 2012, they hired out Centro buses to take residents in front of a senior living home to the Wegman’s grocery store located on James Street, which is four miles away from Pond Street. This bus service lasted until Tops reopened the Pond Street store in 2013.
There were other forces in action working to keep the north side fed in the absence of a supermarket. Just a few weeks after the announcement of Wegman’s’ departure, a convenience store located less than a mile away on Wolf Street decided that this would be the perfect opportunity to expand. At Dully’s Express Market, Mike Deb remodeled his mid-sized corner store to include,shelving for stocking fruits and vegetables, a refrigerant system for fresh packaged meats plus an expanded deli meat selection, and 60 feet of freezer which was added to a back wall to accommodate a wider food selection.
Additionally, Mike Deb was able to provide prices closer to supermarket prices. Deli meats were reduced by 15%, and Deb worked out a deal with Byrne Dairy to supply milk at a lower rate and dropped the price of the milk being sold in his store. The real improvement to food access came from Dully’s’ creation of a grocery delivery system. They began to include any item available in store as part of a boxed food drop-off program, including all of their produce, deli meats and fresh meats as deliverable items.
Syracuse has also seen an explosion in the number of ethnic markets on the north side, specializing in imports, which help to serve the diverse population of this neighborhood alongside existing grocery stores.