Editor’s Note: Lexie is a proud AmeriCorps VISTA alum with a master’s degree in Communications & New Media Marketing from Southern New Hampshire University. She currently works as the Volunteer & Community Engagement Coordinator for NEHDA and the Syracuse Northeast Community Center. As part of our collaboration with NEHDA, we’ve asked her to write guest posts for us each month, taking a deeper look into the Northside, its businesses and residents. All of her posts can be found under the “NEHDA” category. To learn more about NEHDA, visit their website and Facebook.
Thanos’ current location next to their new home in Hawley-Green.
If you have been through the Hawley-Green neighborhood recently, you have probably noticed the new signage on 105 Green Street. Hand-painted in bold letters, the building reads, “Thanos Import Market,” and it’s true: this Northside staple is moving from the North Salina Street corridor to a new storefront in Hawley-Green.
If this news makes you nervous about losing access to your favorite meats and cheeses, let me assure you that there is no need to worry. Since its opening in 1919, Thanos has already been housed in three different storefronts around the Salina/ Pearl Street intersection without losing the “neighborhood market” feel that makes Thanos so unique The current owner, Soula Carni, assures that she plans to maintain the products and atmosphere that made her fall in love with the shop as a child.
Coming to the United States from Greece in 1968, Soula has fond memories of going to Thanos every week with her parents to pick up phyllo, feta, olives, and other items that reminded her of home. When she got married and had children of her own, she continued the tradition of visiting the market.
When the store went up for sale around Christmastime in 2007, Soula waited to see what would happen with the iconic neighborhood market. When there were still no offers in January, the owners were planning to close for good at the end of the month. Within weeks of hearing this news, Soula was the new owner of Thanos Import Market; her first official day was February 1, 2008.
The sense of familiarity and family that drew Soula to the shop will be preserved in the new location on Green Street. Here, she’ll be able to custom design all the details with help from family and friends. Soula’s daughter has started painting a sign that leads customers to the parking in the back of the building. Wooden ladders are being repurposed into shelves and displays. Café tables and chairs are being designed to maintain the charm that people have come to know and love. “I want to keep it as a place for people to come ask questions and learn about different products—it will still be a place for people to come and explore,” explained Soula.
The specialty food will also remain. Soula said, “we have to be a destination—a place where people go for unique items.” In fact, she plans to expand her already noteworthy selection of cheeses and offer more prepared lunches, like salads and sandwiches. Don’t worry: the famous Thanos Antipasto will be continued, as will their signature Italian Sandwich.
Along with specialty imports, Thanos will also showcase local products. All of the sandwiches will be made with bread from some Northside businesses as well as other local stores in the city:ciabatta from Nino’s, Di Lauro’s rolls, and Pastabilities’ stretch bread. Business owners will also be welcomed into Thanos to host tastings and showcase their products. Soula hopes that focusing on collaboration will help to grow business success throughout the neighborhood, and through the Northside as a whole.
“There is a lot of energy here,” Soula said of the Hawley-Green neighborhood. She is excited to learn from new customers and continue seeing faithful shoppers.
Work in the new location has already begun as the store gets ready to open this summer. To stay updated, follow their progress on Facebook.