By Matt Conti
October 11th marks the 30th Anniversary of the Going Bananas market and grocery shop located on Salem Street in Boston’s North End. Frank Scire started working at age 13 with his uncle at Haymarket. He fell in love with the experience and the the atmosphere drew him to the North End.
Going Bananas was born in 1986 when Scire opened a 700 square foot fruit store at 65 Salem Street. In 2009, the shop expanded to a new 2,000 square foot space across the street at 64 Salem Street where it continues to operate today as a full-line grocery store. When we stopped by the shop, Frank described his experience,
I can’t believe how fast these 30 years have gone by. In large part, I think because it has never felt like work for me. This was always my passion, and to be able to succeed in this neighborhood while bringing good quality food to these wonderful people has been very rewarding to me, my staff and family.
Boston’s North End has changed a lot in the past thirty years and Going Bananas has kept up with the times. Frank talked about what it has been like to serve multiple generations.
It warms my heart to see people who used to come in to shop with their parents; now coming in with their children to shop, or knowing we can provide a young college student a homemade prepared meal for a reasonable price. For me it hasn’t been just about the transactions, it’s been more about the interactions.
Frank’s 4-year old son, Frank Jr., is often at the store with him. The Going Bananas owner emphasized how much he enjoyed being part of the North End neighborhood and serving its families and new residents. One time, a young woman came in near closing for chicken breasts to make dinner. She forgot them on the counter and the Going Bananas staff ran up Prince Street to catch her. She came back the next day to thank them and letting them know she posted on social media how you can’t expect that kind of service at a corporate run supermarket. Frank has many similar stories. Whether its for all the market products, special requests or just to hold a package or key, customers know that Going Bananas will be there for them.
Frank ended our visit by thanking the neighborhood for their longtime support.
In this day and age where it has become challenging for small, family run businesses to survive, I know I am fortunate to be part of a neighborhood that embraces family, traditions and hard work. So to all our friends and customers over the years, Thank You for always making me feel part of this special community.
Congratulations to Going Bananas on their 30th Anniversary and many more to come!