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Amsterdam "market with a mission"

Updated: 07/10/2014 11:00 AM
Created: 07/09/2014 5:46 PM WNYT.com
By: Kumi Tucker

AMSTERDAM - Liberty Fresh Market will soon be opening along Route 30 in Amsterdam, next to the movie theater and opposite Burger King.

The market is run by Liberty Montgomery County ARC.

Tiffany Carpenter applied for a job.  "It's always been my dream and I really like to greet people and I can show them where the items are on the shelves," she said.

Keisha Saunders wants to work in customer service.  "Because it gives me an opportunity to work in the community and learn new things," she said.

"I want to stock shelves," said Valerie Lennebecker.  "Because I do a good job and everything."

There is already a waiting list for interviews.

Liberty Fresh Market will offer products from local vendors and farms, fresh local produce, and budget-friendly bulk foods.

They are hiring from the community as well, but most of the staff will come from the people they serve.  They call this a "market with a mission."

"One of the things this store will do is it's going to provide a window for everyone to see the hearts, the minds, the skills, the talents these people have," said Michael Cinquanti, a Liberty ARC board member.

Profits will go back to people with special needs.

The market is in a popular and busy shopping area.  A separate wine store will be at the front of the building.

The idea is to fill a hole in the market and at the same time provide a training center and more opportunities for people with special needs.

"Our folks are really willing to work and want to have good jobs," said Liberty ARC Director of Sales and Marketing Dawn Jacksland.  "They like to work in the enclaves they have in other businesses and they want to have something that's kind of their own, like our market."

"It's going to add more customers and we're going to be more popular than Walmart!" said Carpenter.

The store is set to open at the end of July or beginning of August, but people can already sign up for a Fresh Perks card with discounts.

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