by Dave Warner

A new deli & grocery shop named Sam, has opened at the corner of Furnace Street and West Main. The business, located in the old Pizza Boys location has a wide range of breakfast items, signature wraps & omelets, sandwiches of any kind you can think of, and Halal food. They proudly say that they offer 119 different sandwiches.

They also have grocery items, deli meats, household items and cigarettes, and tobacco. According to owner Refiq Murshed, they are moving to Little Falls from the Bronx. “We heard about how quiet Utica was, good for the family with no traffic, so I came up here to see what I could find.”

He said that they were just looking around and stumbled on the location on Furnace Street that was for rent. “The people we have dealt with so far are beautiful. My wife is still in New York and I’m talking to her about what’s going on here. How nice it is and that I like it. Now I’m looking for a house to rent so that I can bring (the rest of the family) here.”

“I loved the location and so we’re taking a chance on it,” he stated. “I think small stores like this are coming back because of the sandwiches and the food. The food is popular and it’s good because I do it.”

He says that it’s good because he had worked in a deli for 22 years before opening his own business.

Murshed said that he just wants to be able to work the business during the day and go home when he’s finished and be able to relax with his family. He said that he has another store in the Bronx, but that most people don’t realize how much trouble it is to live there now.

“It’s not the COVID, because it’s here and there. When you have a family, you want to go to a place that is quiet, that doesn’t have traffic, where there is parking available 24/7. I’ve lived in the same house in the Bronx for 18 or 19 years and there is no one day that I finish my job and go home and find a parking spot. It takes an hour to two hours to find one,” he stated.

At the end of the day, he said that you just want to go home and relax. “I just finally said, enough is enough. I thought that even if I could just find a job and bring my family up here, it would be good enough for me.”

A lot of his friends feel the same way about the City and are looking at moving out. “Whomever I talk to say please, look for a location for us. Any time you find one, let us know and we will come and buy it. Six or seven guys have already said that” he stated.

He also says that the cost of living here is cheap compared to the Bronx. “I used to pay $1,350 for a two-bedroom, but only because I have been there for so many years. If you wanted to get it today, it would be like $2,100 – $2,200 a month. We can’t afford that.”

Murshed that when you look at Little Falls and the fact that you can get a three-bedroom house with a living room, kitchen, and everything else for $600-$700 a month, it’s very reasonable. “Even if it goes to $1,000, you can save money here.”

He has already brought his children up here for a visit and they didn’t want to go back. “They said dad, we can run around and go to the parks. When we’re in New York City, we have to stay at home.”

Murshed said that so far, so good. “The business is running good, breakfast is kind of slow, but from noon until about 8 pm is nice and busy.”

Right now, he wants people to pick up a menu and then call. There’s no seating area, and currently no delivery. “We give them a time when the sandwiches are ready and they can come pick it up.”

The store is open Monday through Sunday from 6 am until 11 pm and is located at 15 Furnace Street. For more information, call 315-508-5428.