When Amit Patel opened his first business in Kent, it was May 1, 2003. When he opened his second location earlier this month, it was the same exact date, only 14 years later.
Along Route 52 in Kent, residents and visitors in the area have a new spot to pick up some food or groceries and quickly be on their way. Gino’s Grab-n-Go Deli opened on May 1 to much pomp and circumstance with a ribbon cutting and celebration. The new shop has a bit of everything, including everyday groceries, hot and cold food ready to eat, snacks and drinks. There are also more than 200 different cigars to choose from in the smoke section of the shop. Inside the refurbished spot, two large televisions hang on the walls. It took eight months to get the grab n’ go ready for customers, but the inside and outside look pristine and worth the wait.
Patel, the owner, is also in charge of Gino’s Deli and Pizza up the road.
After owning the other Gino’s for 14 years, Patel decided it was finally time to open a second location. From customer feedback, Patel said he was always told that the town needed a business where people could come and go quickly. They also told him a smoke shop would be nice to have nearby.
“We just decided to go for it,” Patel, who lives in Kent, said.
He said he doesn’t know of any store similar in a 30-mile radius, especially with the extensive smoke shop. He said customers are happy they no longer have to go to Connecticut for a quality cigar.
Patel originally came to Kent in 2003 when family members in the area convinced him to move from Massachusetts to New York. They mentioned a business opportunity for Patel and he agreed to give it a try in a new state
He bought Gino’s Deli and kept the name, adding on from there by making it a mini supermarket with groceries and also starting food delivery.
All Patel’s life, he’s been in food service, including as a butcher.
“I love food,” Patel said. “I like to eat and I like to cook.”
As more customers come in, he hopes to make more improvements as time goes by.
Right now, Patel is spending most of his time at this location rather than the established Gino’s in the heart of Kent. He knows it’s important for customers to see a familiar face.
“Then they feel comfortable,” he said. “Because anybody that comes in doesn’t want to see a stranger in town.”
Gino’s Grab-n-Go Deli is located at 406 Route 52, Carmel (Town of Kent).