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Happy Produce on Solano Reborn Again – as 'Albany Fresh Produce'

The Happy Produce market on Solano Avenue in Albany reopened on Monday, and the new management said the long-established business is getting a new name, "Albany Fresh Produce."

The Happy Produce market on Solano Ave. in Albany reopened under new management on Dec. 2, 2013. Shown here are manager Miguel Hassan (right) and an employee who said to call him "Hamza the Helper." Photo credit: Charles Burress
The Happy Produce market on Solano Ave. in Albany reopened under new management on Dec. 2, 2013. Shown here are manager Miguel Hassan (right) and an employee who said to call him "Hamza the Helper." Photo credit: Charles Burress
The Happy Produce market on Solano Avenue in Albany is back in business again – having reopened under new management Monday.

The business at 1240 Solano Ave. just west of the BART tracks had a short, three-month run under the previous owner, Maria Valencia, who opened the market with celebratory free tamales on Aug. 24. Before she took over, it had been closed since June 2012 after 34 years as a family-run enterprise.

Greeting customers Monday was a new face, store manager Miguel Hassan, who said Valencia closed her operation last week.

Hassan said he and the business' new owner, Abdul Mohamed, wanted to reopen as soon as possible and quickly brought in fresh produce and packaged foods for the shelves.

"We didn't want to keep it closed," he said. "We wanted to get something for the neighbors as soon as possible."

One change will be a new name, "Albany Fresh Produce," Hassan said. The new sign will probably be up sometime next week, he said.

Hassan said the market will have organic offerings as well as meats, including halal meat, which meets Islamic dietary standards.

He also said he is also inviting customer requests for items to carry.

Hassan and Mohamed have another, five-year-old grocery in Oakland, La Raza Market on International Boulevard, Hassan said.

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Robert Marshall December 03, 2013 at 10:43 AM
I'm glad to see they will be offering organic produce again. Just last week I stopped by and talked with the girl working the register and she said that they had stopped carrying organic produce after they opened because it wasn't selling nearly as well as the non-organic produce they had. Wonder if she knew they were closing that Friday?
Mr Eous December 03, 2013 at 04:14 PM
Excellent. The organic produce selection there has been poor from the get-go. Looking forward to seeing what they've got in the meat department.
Catherine Sutton December 03, 2013 at 07:30 PM
Yes!!
D. Mehrten December 05, 2013 at 10:52 PM
Ooh. Lamb kidneys, please.

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