Last night, members of the upper East Village community gathered at the home of Dena & Charles Verrill to celebrate Andrew and Suk Yang Johnson, owners of Sara’s Market. After running Sara’s Market for 19 years, Andy and Suk Yang have decided to turn over the reins. They will continue to own the building, but have leased the market out to new operators. Best of all, they live just a couple blocks away and will be customers just like the rest of us. So they will make sure the market maintains its great quality.
And from what GM can tell, the new operators will be great. For one thing, you barely have to memorize new names; they’re named Andy and Sue. And they are very friendly and appear to have the energy necessary to keep this vital neighborhood resource in good shape.
GM writes a lot about the merits of living a car-lite or even car-free lifestyle, and how a dense neighborhood like Georgetown helps you live that lifestyle. The thing is, neighborhood markets like Sara’s are absolutely critical to that equation. Being able to walk a few blocks and pick up almost any essential means not having to drive to a supermarket and, better yet, not have to find a parking space when you get home. Multiple nights a week, GM accomplishes a set of “errands” simply by getting off the bus and walking across the street to Sara’s. It adds a whole two minutes to his commute (ten if he starts talking sports with Andy).
And best of all, small markets like Sara’s enable the customer and owner to form a bond. You can see that bond at work when the lower East Village rallied to save Scheele’s. And you certainly saw it last night when a crowd gathered to warmly wish Andy and Suk Yang a fantastic retirement. Their rest is well deserved.
So Bon Voyage Andy and Suk Yang!