A south end tradition continues in Concord
Cimo’s is born in former Ordway’s spot
By Linda A. Thompson-Odum firstname.lastname@example.org
For more than 80 years there was a small market in Concord’s south end residential neighborhood. That tradition seemed in jeopardy when Ordway’s market closed in December. Instead it will continue with the new Cimo’s South End Deli, thanks to new owner John Cimikoski.
A Concord native, Cimikoski has lived in the south end most of his adult life, just around the corner from the market. He owned a hardwood flooring business, but always had his eye on the possibility of one day owning the market. He was a regular Ordway’s coffee and lunch customer.
“I always wanted to do this. Every time this market would change owners I would check on the price. I was sick of breathing the dust and being on my knees all day,” Cimikoski said.
The market gets its name from Cimikoski’s childhood nickname. It is a combination of convenience store, deli, sub shop, take-out and ice cream stand. Glass-fronted refrigerator cases contain beer, wine, soda, milk and other cold items. There are a few shelves of chips, snacks, breads and other groceries. Another refrigerated case holds ready-made salads and sandwiches. Cimikoski hopes to add fresh produce from the public garden down the street this summer.
A hot case features breakfast pizza (made with egg, cheese, sausage and bacon) and breakfast sandwiches in the mornings, and then makes the switch to traditional pizzas and sandwiches toward lunch time. For customers with more time to spare, the sandwiches can be made fresh to order at the counter. One popular item is the Western breakfast sub, which is a Western omelet (onions, peppers, ham and cheese) on a roll. There are also hamburgers, hot dogs and soups available, and there is an ice cream counter with Gifford’s Ice Cream from Maine and a slushy machine.
“If someone’s looking for a quick snack or lunch, they don’t have to wait,” Cimikoski said. “But, if they have time, we can make everything to their specifications.”
The salads, soups and other ready-made items come from recipes created by Cimikoski and his staff. In the future, he wants to involve the public with recipe contests for items such as cole slaw, potato salad, soups, etc. with the winner’s recipe featured in the market.
The deli accepts fax orders so business and groups can have lunch ready when needed. There is even a box lunch available for groups of five or more. School groups or businesses can fill out a special fax form that lists everyone’s sandwich preference. Cimikoski and his staff will then make up the boxed lunches with the sandwiches, chips, soda or water, and a cookie, and have them packed in a cooler and ready for pick-up. The cost is $6 per lunch.
Kids and families are a big part of Cimo’s business. Many stop in on their way to a Little League or softball game at the nearby ball fields. The market sponsors one of the Little League teams.
“I grew up with the Boys & Girls club. You don’t realize where the money comes from when you are going to camp or playing ball. It’s all about giving back to the kid in the community,” he said.
Cimikoski wants the market to be a comfortable place for everyone from the businessman in a suit to the guys covered in sawdust or off the back of a garbage truck. Customer service is his top priority, both in the market’s attitude and in convenience. “We don’t want anybody to pass this store and head to a supermarket. If you need onion powder and we don’t have it on the shelf, well we use it in the back so I’ll sell you some. We want to know everybody’s name and hear everyone’s suggestions and comments,” Cimikoski said.