Located at 100-31 Metropolitan Avenue, the business is next door to the now-closed Sizzler. And while you won’t find cigarettes, beer or lottery tickets, mountains of fresh produce, international foods and household items are plentiful in the small shop. About 70 to 80 percent of the store’s items are organic.
“The market came from the idea of wanting to help people live healthy and happy,” Hendarto said. “I really wanted to do something for the community and we’re trying to have the next generation be able to keep this earth.”
The Forest Hills resident runs the store with the help of her son, William, when he isn’t in class at Brooklyn Technical High School. A lot of the inventory has been derived from what people use in their day-to-day lives, such as cereal, pasta, condiments, sauces, lemongrass, tofu, dumplings, edamame and apple cider vinegar.
There are international products such as basmati rice and miso. For those with a sweet tooth or cravings for something salty, mochi ice cream and a variety of gluten-free snacks are available.
Sunrise Market also offers organic coffee and hot teas. In the upcoming weeks, they will be adding a juice bar. Eventually, they hope to add some tables and chairs, as well as an area to make sandwiches and salads. And to build further community engagement, Hendarto wants to start researching and sharing recipes with customers.
Besides the Trader Joe’s further down Metropolitan Avenue, there aren’t many grocery stores in the area. A lot of shoppers, especially the elderly, have told Hendarto that they like the store because of its proximity to their homes.
Hendarto tries to accommodate her customers to the best of her ability. For instance, a shopper from Richmond Hill asked if she could stock flaxseed oil. Shortly after, flaxseed oil was added to the market.
“I’m really open-minded if any customers come in and they want me to have a particular product in the store,” she said. “I’m really happy with the ideas they have given me."
There are some glaring challenges to running a new shop with organic produce, Hendarto admitted. One problem is having to throw away produce because of its short shelf life. After all, the fruits and vegetables aren’t treated with chemicals.
Hendarto hopes that this trend will change once more customers drop by. And trying to avoid becoming an overly priced small business, she is perpetually doing research to make sure each item is the same price as you would find in other supermarkets.
Those who do visit often express their eagerness to return.
“When they tell me that, it stops my heart, I’m so happy,” she said.