PORTAGE PARK — Family Fruit Market — beloved by many Far Northwest Side residents for its guacamole — will stay open, one of its owners said Tuesday, putting to rest the rumors of its imminent closure that have swirled for months.
Business has steadily declined during the past two years, prompting Ron Presta and his partners to begin seriously consider selling the grocery store at 4118 N. Cicero Ave. and the store's parking lot across the street.
"If everyone was confused, it was because we were confused," Presta said. "Despite everything we tried, it went in the wrong direction."
While the store's owners frequently received offers for the property, they began to seriously consider accepting one several months ago, Presta said.
But when the deal took too long to complete, Presta and his partners decided to come up with a new plan for the store, one that will see 50 percent of its stock replaced and more healthy, organic and gluten-free food offered.
"We're really excited about this plan," Presta said. "We've gotten a lot of positive response."
The Six Corners Association, which represents businesses in the area, said it was thrilled the store would stay open.
The store will also get a makeover that is expected to be finished by the end of July, Presta said.
"We're going all the way with this," Presta said. "We're taking a new approach. It is a total change in our philosophy."
A deal to sell the parking lot at Cicero and Berteau avenues is still under discussion, Presta said.
"We've been here 23 years, and we want to stay here," Presta said. "I've got a good feeling about this."
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