Streets Market tries to fill the void left by Eddie’s Market
Following the closure of the Eddie Market in Charles Village in December 2020, Streets Market has filled its vacant position on St. Paul Street. The streets opened in June of this year.
Streets brand manager Jesamine Lee explained in an interview with The News-Letter that she hopes the grocery store will be able to carry on Eddie’s tradition of close relationships with students and residents. She explained that the store prioritizes product, price and service.
“We have certainly been more diverse in terms of our grocery options,” she said. “There is a strong international community at Hopkins so we really focus on Asian groceries and the basics of college life like instant ramen. Corn [we] too [focus on] providing healthy and fresh options like produce and ordering many of our items locally. We make sure we have a really good variety so that when you walk into our grocery store you will find everything you need.
Although Streets accepts J-Cash, Elder Garrett Kearney said the lack of a student discount at Streets Market makes it look less like a college community market.
“Eddie used to give a 5% discount [to Hopkins students] on purchases over $ 15, ”he said. “It was by no means a crazy discount, but it just made it feel like it was a local place for Hopkins students.”
Brody Silva, former cashier at Eddie’s Market, believes that one of the main differences between Streets and Eddie’s is the reduction in the quality of service.
“Eddie’s, who is an integral part of the community, always wanted to be friendly and have regulars,” he said. “The streets give the impression of being in a chain. I have not had the same kind of experience with cashiers or with managers.
Kearney echoed Silva’s feelings, noting how often Eddie’s owner came to the store.
“Seeing the owner there almost every day and getting to know the people was cool,” he said. “You often had conversations with them. There was sort of a feeling of a tight-knit group.
Lee pointed out that Streets is working to expand its impact on community service.
“Street Market is a small local business, so we want to make sure that we are part of the community, whether it’s participating in school programs, where we donate 1%, or participating in neighborhood fairs,” a- she declared.
Streets offers a selection of fresh produce and a variety of international dishes. The store serves customers with various dietary needs; selections include many organic, vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options. The store also carries essential household items, including cleaning supplies and laundry products. Unlike Eddie’s, Streets no longer has a deli counter at the back of the market.
Silva recalled the popularity of cold cuts among students.
“[The deli] was very popular; there were all kinds of sandwiches and meats and macaroni salad and potato salad. It was a big draw – a lot of people came to the deli, ”said Silva. “Streets has since gotten rid of the deli during the renovation. Heard there was a plan to put one back at some point, but I think they just wanted a clean slate.
Lee explained that removing the deli on the base opened up more space for groceries. There was no indication that the deli or outside seating would be back anytime soon.
To improve its relationship with the community, Streets has set up a customer request form. Lee said the store is currently working on bringing in more items than the students have requested, including baking and junk food.
“For the students, we do our best to assess what is needed,” she said. “It looks like they want fresh produce and more baked goods, which we have been trying to do.”
Silva also discussed managing recruiting at Streets, noting that the market had failed to rehire several long-time employees at Eddie’s and even one employee who was on his way to becoming an assistant manager.
“A lot of people who worked at Eddie’s before it closed applied again to work at Streets when it opened, but Streets, to my knowledge, didn’t hire any of them,” said Silva.
The News-Letter has contacted representatives for Streets to comment on this complaint, but has not received a response.
Lee remains optimistic that Streets will build a strong relationship with his community.
“Honestly, we want to make sure we’re there for the student community, and we’re really grateful for the support,” she said. “We want to do better. There is room for improvement, and if there’s anything better we can do, we’re all ears.
Jake lefkovitz contributed to the reporting of this article.
Brody Silva is a contributing writer for The News-Letter. He did not contribute to the reporting, writing or editing of this article.