TOP O’ THE MORNING — Ben Hibbert, left, shares a coffee with Utica Coffee President Frank Elias during the opening of the Maple Leaf Market in Sherrill Tuesday morning. The Oneida Indian Nation has teamed with various local businesses to bring fresh food to the market. The Nation will open four more Maple Leaf Markets in Oneida and Madison counties beginning with a second store in Chittenango in spring 2018. (Sentinel photo by Roger Seibert)
Maple Leaf Market makes fresh start in Sherrill
SHERRILL — The Oneida Indian Nation opened what will be the first of five Maple Leaf Market convenience stores Tuesday morning in Sherrill.
The Maple Leaf Market is unique in its emphasis on providing customers with freshly-made food provided through local businesses, officials said.
These businesses include Joe’s Jerky, Tasswood Bakery, Utica Coffee, and HP Hood. They will supply the markets with fresh supplies each day.
“It’s a great day to be here,” Utica Coffee President Frank E. Elias said as he demonstrated the different kinds of coffee that will be available at the Maple Leaf stores.
The expansion and daily operations of the new Maple Leaf Market will be overseen by John Boucouvalas, the director of SavOn operations.
Boucouvalas has more than 25 years of leadership experience in convenience store brands, including 13 years with Wawa Food Markets.
The culinary team from the Nation’s Turning Stone Resort Casino will be involved with the development of Maple Leaf Market’s menu of fresh sandwiches, soups, salads, pastas and more. Snacks will include freshly-cut fruits and vegetables with freshly-brewed gourmet coffee and more.
Maple Leaf Market will also offer top-selling grocery and essential items, gasoline, a variety of imported and domestic beers and more, according to officials at the Tuesday grand opening.
“We look forward to serving fresh food every day,” Boucouvalas said.
Maple Leaf’s commitment to fresh, made-to-order food will be helped by a food preparation center located across from the store’s location at the corner of Route 5 and Sherrill Road.
The food prep center is located in the former Sherrill SavOn store, and will ship food daily to the Maple Leaf locations when they open for business.
Oneida Nation Public Relations Manager Kelly Abdo said the next Maple Leaf Market will open in Chittenango next spring and the other three stores will be located throughout Oneida and Madison counties.
The Sherrill Maple Leaf location will employ 35 full- and part-time employees, officials added.