Steve Fernandez and Michelle Jones have been working for years to bring a grocery store to Downtown Port Huron, and part of their wait is finally over. The couple welcomed the Blue Water Area Chamber of Commerce and its members to 310 Huron Avenue yesterday for a Demolition Day ceremony.
After encouraging messages from Blue Water Chamber President Thelma Castillo, Mayor Pauline Repp, and St. Clair County Commissioner Jeff Bohm, Steve Fernandez shared with guests how many people have supported them along their journey.
“Everybody said this project was much needed in this community. It’s that kind of real support…this just wouldn’t happen without people taking action and doing things. We could talk all day, but at the end of the day, if you don’t have your community supporting you, this kind of project never gets finished. It never gets off the drawing board.” said Fernandez
Jones and Fernandez thanked officials in the city and county government for taking an active role in making sure the project was well-explained to investors from outside the community. Many local businesses and organizations played a key role in getting Jones and Fernandez to this point, and they are excited to bring this store to the downtown community.
“Lofts are being built, new businesses are coming in. This is an attractive place to live and raise a family, and we’re just proud to be a small part of that.” said Fernandez.
The next steps involve renovating the main floor of the building and the grand staircase that will lead to the basement. Once the grocery store renovations are complete, the couple will focus on the second story which will contain executive offices and their personal living space.
When asked what she is looking forward to, Michelle Jones said getting the store done is her priority. The inside will look very similar to their other property, Country Style Marketplace in Ft. Gratiot, with the addition of a prepared foods section where people can grab fast, ready-to-eat meals. There will also be seating along the windows facing Huron Avenue where people can sit and eat.
With a big smile, Michelle Jones said, “Don’t go down to Hall Road, you’ve got PH Country Style Market coming soon and Country Style Market in Ft. Gratiot that you can go to!”
Reporting for WGRT – Jessie Wiegand