When Mike Stevens‘ grandparents owned and operated the original Savoy Market in Providence, Rhode Island in the early 1930’s they never would have dreamed that their small grocery store would ever expand to the other side of the country. At the time their store was considered “the Cream of the East Side,” according to the Brown Daily Herald, and the store was known for the popular holiday parties thrown by its generous owners, often including a whole roast turkey and ham for loyal patrons.
It is precisely that same spirit of community engagement that grocer Mike Stevens hopes to preserve with his new store, Island Savoy Market. Mike named the new store in honor of his grandparents, who have served as the chief inspiration for his vision – a rebirth of the original Savoy Market with a nod to the history of the new Alameda location.
Island Savoy Market will be much more than just a traditional store. Mike, who has worked for over 15 years in the food industry and most recently served as General Manager at Melons Catering, refers to himself as a “community grocer” and hopes to continue the tradition began by his grandparents of using his store to build a strong community.
In a post-pandemic era where anonymous, contactless take-out and delivery have become the name of the game, the value of a strong community cannot be undersold. Mike envisions Island Savoy Market as a return to the days of his grandparents, a time where you knew your grocer by name as well as they knew yours.
Island Savoy Market is first and foremost a family store, but Mike’s definition of “family” extends beyond his immediate relatives to include the entire Alameda community. Mike, whose children have been attending local public school in the region for eight years, feels heavily invested in his community and intends to use his store to bring people together and help strengthen the community.
Part of building that community includes preserving its history, and Island Savoy Market is preserving the legacy of the market that occupied the space for decades by retaining its vintage sign, letting locals know that the upcoming store will be a comfortable fusion of the old and the new.
The new store, located at 1200 Lincoln Avenue, will feature organic produce, locally-sourced foods, craft beer and wine, alongside a full-service deli and an espresso bar. Island Savoy Market is expected to be a one-stop-shop for the residents of central Alameda and should begin serving patrons this fall.