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Madison Mart owner plans 24-hour operation

March 11, 2015

by Tiffany Pearson

Madison Mart, the convenience store at 870 Madison Ave.,  will be open 24 hours a day, if owner Dominick Lascala gets city approval.  The convenience store sells grocery items, cleaning products and alcohol and tobacco products.

Doug Shartrand, will represent Lascala before the Board of Zoning Appeals once the request, is submitted next month to be open 24 hours a day.  Lascala hopes to operate 24 hours a day by the end of August.

Owner, Lascala of Madison Mart/Tiffany Pearson

Owner, Lascala of Madison Mart/Tiffany Pearson

“There were customers coming in during times when the store was about to close,” said Ethel Rose Pieri, an employee there.

People will see that the store is open 24 hours a day and will come more often, according to Fitzroy Collins, the owner of the property.

“The store will be in competition with Price Chopper but I think Madison Mart has the potential to become 24 hours and I would like to see it happen,” Collins said.

Now, the store’s hours of operation are from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday and 9 a.m. to 2 a.m. Thursday through Saturday.

The store currently has two employees but if Lascala’s proposal is approved, he intends to hire more workers.

In the meantime, Lascala is pleased with how much has changed since taking over the store from Hina Farhan, who owned the store from January 2013 to December 2014. Farhan left to focus his attention working as a car dealer.

Lascala had changes in mind when he first opened.

“This particular area definitely needed improvement. There were complaints from customers that the store’s lighting was poor, the lack of availability of the products they wanted and most of the stuff that was carried in the store was frequently out of stock,” said Pieri.

Inside the store/Tiffany Pearson

Inside the store/Tiffany Pearson

Customers who used to shop there, still do and they see the improvements, Pieri said. The store now is fully stocked, Pieri said, and if customers have requests they try to get items within 24 hours or less.

“I think it was a good idea to renovate the store said,” Derek Canino, an Albany native. He doesn’t and appreciates the store’s accessibility. “It’s nice to have the store close by that has a variety of products that I don’t have to travel far to get at a decent price point.”

The store now has plenty of options for its customers.  According to Lascala, 10 percent of his customers who don’t have cash for their small purchases and get turned away at other convenience stores, get cash back at the register with a purchase of up to $20 for only a one dollar fee, in addition to small purchases of less than $5 can be charged with a small fee of 50 cents.

Collins acknowledged how noticeable and visible the store has become.

“The store is taking shape every day and it is a very attractive center on the street,” said Collins.

Madison Mart Storefront/Tiffany Pearson

Madison Mart Storefront/Tiffany Pearson

Since renovating the store, Lascala advised that he doesn’t look at any competition but encourages it. He prides himself on centering the store around his customers needs.

“My boss is my customer. I listen to them. They are someone I answer to. If the bosses aren’t happy, then we have difficulties,” said Lascala.  This is their store, he said, “we are just the vehicle.”  -30-

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