New Andi’s Market Opens in Old Storefront on Cortland


Neighbor Andrea Cohen lives on Elsie, and she recently took over the former JC Market at 820 Cortland. Now renamed Andi’s Market, Neighbor Andrea tells us more about her plans for the business:

I took over 3 months ago. We FINALLY got our sign up on April 23, replacing the old JC Super sign; we expect the new awning within the next week and a half.

We’ve gotten an unparalleled amount of support and goodwill from neighbors. The store is getting scrubbed from head to toe; huge volumes of expired inventory purged from the shelves. Its cleaner, brighter. But slow going, so pardon our dust. Although it looks a bit empty, theres actually more food on the shelves than there’s been in years. For real.

My goal is to welcome the diversity of the neighborhood into the store by focusing on convenience and value. And that’s a daunting task. There are Filipino, Latino, union worker, and more recent Bernalese folks. But everyone needs a convenience store open early, closing late and having necessities–from ice cream, frozen food, snacks, beer, to little drugstore and hardware things. We’ll try to do this by having some pallet sales, sensible prices and ease of shopping on Cortland. Oh, and did I mention the deli? Its coming. Don’t have a date, but soon. Simple, down to earth, two-handed sandwiches and prepared foods.

Keeping lots of the old products–traditional snacks and convenience foods, but gradually adding in the foods neighbors request, like organic milk and basic healthy alternatives. More family oriented products. We love hearing what those requests are, so please stop in and let us know the kinds of things you’d like to see in the store

The building is this historic and really large space. It was built as a Safeway in 1926, and then in the 1970’s, the landlord (at that time he ran the grocery) took a crane and lifted 2 truck trailers over the houses in back to create permanent warehouse space. As we get the store running more smoothly and get to know our customers, we are thinking of lots of innovative way to best use the volume of space we have.

Me and most of the workers live in Bernal, so community isn’t just a buzzword–its a truth.

UPDATE: No fair to mention that the store used to be a Safeway, without providing a photo. So here you go; you can see Safeway/JC Market/Andi’s just left of the old Cortland Theater:

BERNAL1045 Cortland

PHOTO: Courtesy of Andi’s Market

32 thoughts on “New Andi’s Market Opens in Old Storefront on Cortland

  1. Love the idea of a more family-oriented store on Cortland! Welcome, Andi’s! Wish, though, the sign didn’t say “beer liquor lotto” so the messaging could be more family-oriented, too.

    • I agree about the sign Beer liquor and lotto that makes the sign look a bit ghetto and less fanily -oriented

      • Yes. Those who imbibe and gamble are the scum of the earth! We should march them out of Bernal and stop being this whole free market free rights thing.

    • are you guys serious? thats a money maker and its ridiculous for you to want them to change the sign to shield you precious eyes. maybe they shouldn’t advertise food either to it wont offend anyone who may be fasting.

  2. I love this, and we’ve found ourselves stopping here a little more and Good Life a little less. Good Life could frankly use some competition.

    I wandered in here shortly after Andi took it over. I’m not one who chats up clerks but I found myself having a very pleasant conversation with her (at least, I’m assuming it was her). Great addition to the neighborhood.

  3. Wow. Bookended by Piqueo’s on one side and the new Harvest Hills Creamery on the other, this is quite the welcome upgrade to this block, not to mention Red Hill Station opening across the street. Now if only we could bring back the old movie theater next door.

    • I was thinking the same thing about the theatre. Congratulations! All the best to the owners of Andi’s; the store is looking really nice, big improvement over what was there. Glad to see that Cortland Ave is continuously improving. Ever since Canyon Market/Glen Park opened, I rarely grocery shop on Cortland; hopefully, this place will change my mind.

  4. While on the way home and due to it’s convenient location, In the past, I purchased milk, bread and maybe some candy at JC. It was on the way home and convenient for me – dreaded the thought of making a beeline to a supermarket for a loaf of bread. Had run in recently and thought it was simply a renovation. How exciting to see it’s actually new ownership. From the sound of the article, it seems to be turning into the sort of local grocer I can patronize on a regular basis!

  5. This is a great place. Andi is very supportive of your needs. I can get a senior discount at Good Life but I choose to go here as everyone is so nice and helpful and it is nice to see the shelves stocking up and everything a lot easier to find. Also they have added a few things that other places on the street do not carry.

  6. Congrats to you ! JC was a dirty mess ! I hope you find time to steam clean the sidewalks outside? I never really wanted to shop at JC just from the outside alone always looked so dirty. Well really the whole block can use a sidewalk steam clean maybe even replace that sick looking tree, plant some flowers around the tree maybe hanging baskets with flowers ? That block just looks so dirty.So glad u are taking the time to clean it up it really needed help. Best of luck to you !

  7. congratulations and good luck- we used to think JC -stood for Jesus Christ! you are not going to eat anything out of there are you? by opening early on the street you would totally clean up the “loser parent” ….who’s forgotten to get things for the kids lunch market …..

  8. Best wishes! Hope Andi has the resources to restore the glass windows in the front of the store. I know she’s looked into it, but I can only imagine what the cost would be.

  9. i thought it had changed owners, and thanks to Jason for reminding me the previous store was JCs. I shop there occasionally and i am looking forward to see what you do with the place!

    I also can’t wait for the new Creamery to open, they have signs back up in the windows!

  10. Lovely photo of old Cortland Ave. Too bad the theatre won’t be brought back. It certainly would be a huge upgrade over the ‘church’ that is there now. Always glad to see good, new places opening up.

  11. i’m forever amazed at the choice of words the commenters use in these posts…ghetto?
    congratulations to Andi – thank you for making Cortland a little bit brighter and for keeping the sign “beer liquor lotto” in years to come we’ll look back on that and say “those were the good old days”

  12. Hi, welcome Andi.
    Yes, the ole JC could’ve really used some sprucing up. I go there periodically for late night Emergency Ice Cream or Urgent Bottle of Red. I really hope your wine list takes an uptick! I mean, from Gallo by the jug it shouldn’t be hard.
    An anecdote: The man who previously ran the JC (and sometimes his kids who were running the counter) was really really sweet. He had a quite nice oil-painted portrait of himself perched up on the shelf behind him. I asked him about it one time because it was an excellent likeness and so cute! –measuring perhaps 4×4″. He told me it was done by a neighbor up the hill, perhaps on Ellsworth. (Anyone know who the artist is/was? I would love to see a tiny portrait gallery of some neighborhood characters.) I wish him and his family well.
    As an aside, Andi, I am only slightly bummed you got this space before me. I think your project to turn this storefront into a vibrant space is great, and I am envious of your new venture, as heavy on sweat equity as financial. Enjoy the ride! I’ll come in and say hi soon. And yes, to restoring the windows and de-advertising the facade! 🙂

    • well whaddya know, someone who didn’t have something shitty to say about the sign, the windows, the sidewalks or the interior and didn’t post some pearl-clutching “WON’T SOMEBODY THINK OF THE CHILDREN” claptrap.

      The new owner sounds great, but the old owner sounded great too. I’ll probably go buy some beer, liquor and lotto tix there in the near future.

      (You might need to revisit that “Cranky” part, this post was downright heartwarming)

      • ohmigosh. shucks.

        I do get Real Steamed about the multitudes who run stop signs on Folsom St. The Cranky abides.

  13. Nice to see additional upgrades on Cortland.
    Best Wishes to Andi 🙂
    What about that Burger Place???

  14. This is what makes Bernal such a lovely place to live, people taking part in their community. Thank you Andrea for fixing up a piece of Cortland. I look forward to visiting the deli and watching Andi’s market grow.

  15. I think the sign is adorable and I really hope this will be the kind of place where everyone feels welcome. From what I know from talking to Andi & what I see happening in there, she’s in it for the long term, so it’ll be a slow steady evolution.

  16. Three cheers for Andi’s Market. I have been in and out a few times, and every time it changes… for the better of course. Andrea is a delightful person. I love lingering in the isles just to hear her chatting up the folks who come in. She greets folks in a kind fashion, not pushy or weird, simply pleasant and nice. I love the sign.. nothing wrong with Lotto and Liquor! I do appreciate the lack of cigarette advert in the sign. They do sell them, but no need to brag about it. I also love the fact that they are not trying to be anything but a convenient place to buy basic items at fair prices. I bought a few avocados for 99 cents a piece and they were all AWESOME! Imagine that, better price and better quality than Whole Paycheck’s! I also find the flowers are fresh and last a long time. Hip-Hip-Hurray!!!!

  17. Pingback: Sandwich-Making Robot in Andi’s Market Looks Like Terminator, Tastes Like Proust | Bernalwood

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