Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
Cloudy
65°
Cloudy
Hi 74° | Lo 57°

Happy neighbors welcome Jim’s Variety back to Northampton under new ownership

  • Hamid Habib sits prices beverages in a cooler in his newly acquired store, Jim's Variety Store, on June 20, 2013. He purchased the store located in Florence about two weeks ago and became interested in owning a store after he saw the success his brother and sister had at the stores they own.<br/>AYRIKA WHITNEY

    Hamid Habib sits prices beverages in a cooler in his newly acquired store, Jim's Variety Store, on June 20, 2013. He purchased the store located in Florence about two weeks ago and became interested in owning a store after he saw the success his brother and sister had at the stores they own.
    AYRIKA WHITNEY Purchase photo reprints »

  • Hamid Habib, the new owner of Jim's Variety Store, hands a newspaper to Barbra Moffett on June 20, 2013 in Florence. "I live down the street and it is a blessing to have the store open again," said Moffett.<br/>AYRIKA WHITNEY

    Hamid Habib, the new owner of Jim's Variety Store, hands a newspaper to Barbra Moffett on June 20, 2013 in Florence. "I live down the street and it is a blessing to have the store open again," said Moffett.
    AYRIKA WHITNEY Purchase photo reprints »

  • The new owner of Jim's Variety Store in Florence, Hamid Habib, and Brady McElaney, a commerical distributing sales representative, discuss what items he should carry at the store. He has owned the store for about two weeks now.<br/>AYRIKA WHITNEY

    The new owner of Jim's Variety Store in Florence, Hamid Habib, and Brady McElaney, a commerical distributing sales representative, discuss what items he should carry at the store. He has owned the store for about two weeks now.
    AYRIKA WHITNEY Purchase photo reprints »

  • The new owner of Jim's Variety Store in Florence, Hamid Habib, and Brady McElaney, a commerical distributing sales representative, discuss what items he should carry at the store. He has owned the store for about two weeks now.<br/>AYRIKA WHITNEY

    The new owner of Jim's Variety Store in Florence, Hamid Habib, and Brady McElaney, a commerical distributing sales representative, discuss what items he should carry at the store. He has owned the store for about two weeks now.
    AYRIKA WHITNEY Purchase photo reprints »

  • Hamid Habib sits with his wife Saba Hamid and his son Ayaan Hamid, 5, in front of Jim's Variety Store in Florence on June 20, 2013. Habib recently purchased the convenience store about two weeks ago. <br/>AYRIKA WHITNEY

    Hamid Habib sits with his wife Saba Hamid and his son Ayaan Hamid, 5, in front of Jim's Variety Store in Florence on June 20, 2013. Habib recently purchased the convenience store about two weeks ago.
    AYRIKA WHITNEY Purchase photo reprints »

  • Hamid Habib sits with his wife Saba Hamid and his son Ayaan Hamid, 5, in front of Jim's Variety Store in Florence on June 20, 2013. Habib recently purchased the convenience store about two weeks ago. <br/>AYRIKA WHITNEY

    Hamid Habib sits with his wife Saba Hamid and his son Ayaan Hamid, 5, in front of Jim's Variety Store in Florence on June 20, 2013. Habib recently purchased the convenience store about two weeks ago.
    AYRIKA WHITNEY Purchase photo reprints »

  • Hamid Habib sits prices beverages in a cooler in his newly acquired store, Jim's Variety Store, on June 20, 2013. He purchased the store located in Florence about two weeks ago and became interested in owning a store after he saw the success his brother and sister had at the stores they own.<br/>AYRIKA WHITNEY

    Hamid Habib sits prices beverages in a cooler in his newly acquired store, Jim's Variety Store, on June 20, 2013. He purchased the store located in Florence about two weeks ago and became interested in owning a store after he saw the success his brother and sister had at the stores they own.
    AYRIKA WHITNEY Purchase photo reprints »

  • Hamid Habib sits prices beverages in a cooler in his newly acquired store, Jim's Variety Store, on June 20, 2013. He purchased the store located in Florence about two weeks ago and became interested in owning a store after he saw the success his brother and sister had at the stores they own.<br/>AYRIKA WHITNEY
  • Hamid Habib, the new owner of Jim's Variety Store, hands a newspaper to Barbra Moffett on June 20, 2013 in Florence. "I live down the street and it is a blessing to have the store open again," said Moffett.<br/>AYRIKA WHITNEY
  • The new owner of Jim's Variety Store in Florence, Hamid Habib, and Brady McElaney, a commerical distributing sales representative, discuss what items he should carry at the store. He has owned the store for about two weeks now.<br/>AYRIKA WHITNEY
  • The new owner of Jim's Variety Store in Florence, Hamid Habib, and Brady McElaney, a commerical distributing sales representative, discuss what items he should carry at the store. He has owned the store for about two weeks now.<br/>AYRIKA WHITNEY
  • Hamid Habib sits with his wife Saba Hamid and his son Ayaan Hamid, 5, in front of Jim's Variety Store in Florence on June 20, 2013. Habib recently purchased the convenience store about two weeks ago. <br/>AYRIKA WHITNEY
  • Hamid Habib sits with his wife Saba Hamid and his son Ayaan Hamid, 5, in front of Jim's Variety Store in Florence on June 20, 2013. Habib recently purchased the convenience store about two weeks ago. <br/>AYRIKA WHITNEY
  • Hamid Habib sits prices beverages in a cooler in his newly acquired store, Jim's Variety Store, on June 20, 2013. He purchased the store located in Florence about two weeks ago and became interested in owning a store after he saw the success his brother and sister had at the stores they own.<br/>AYRIKA WHITNEY

Hamid Habib did all three at the same time.

Habib, 32, formerly of Ludlow, is the new proprietor of Jim’s Variety on West Farms Road in Florence.

He purchased the business in mid May for $365,000 and moved himself and wife Saba and 5-year-old son, Ayaan, into the apartment above the store.

The Habibs reopened Jim’s about two weeks ago, and welcomed their daughter Anaya into their family last week.

Habib, a former software engineer who worked from his home for about 10 years, said he had been looking for an opportunity to open his own business for some time when he learned Jim’s had closed and was up for sale last fall.

Operating convenience stores runs in the family, Habib said. His brother Shahid runs Pleasant View Market in Easthampton and his sister Tahira has a store in Ludlow.

Habib wasted no time in making changes to Jim’s, including expanding the interior by removing a wall and installing new coolers and display cases.

He said within a month or two he hopes to be able to once again sell gasoline.

Habib said he is negotiating with gasoline vendors and the equipment, including pumps, is already installed.

He is not sure when Jim’s last sold gasoline, but judging by a sign attached to one of the pumps advertising super-unleaded gasoline for $1.20 per gallon, it’s been quite a while, Habib said.

Jim’s is open seven days a week and sells “everything a convenience store should have,” according to Habib. “We’re trying to run it in a professional way,” he added.

Habib said the store is open until 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and the store’s hours may be adjusted based on customer traffic.

Habib said he’s gotten nothing but appreciation from customers, many of whom did not have a convenient place to buy groceries while Jim’s was closed.

“Good customer service means you thank your customers,” Habib said. “But here the customers are thanking us for being open.”

One of those customers is Ward 6 City Councilor Marianne L. LaBarge.

“It’s an honor to have Jim’s Variety back on track again,” she said. “I think they’re going to do a wonderful job.”

LaBarge said in the months the store was closed, people had to travel out of their way for basic staples such as milk and eggs.

“Everybody is happy,” LaBarge said about the store’s reopening. “We will support our local business.”

Bob Dunn can be reached at bdunn@gazettenet.com.

There are no comments yet. Be the first!
Post a Comment

You must be registered to comment on stories. Click here to register.