The Boar’s Head deli cooler at The White Cross Market was broken the day Jimmy and I first met. There I was ready to interview the market, take deli photos and this main crowd pleaser was on the outs.
Situated in Downtown Las Vegas north of the main Las Vegas “Strip”. “I have been involved in grocery stores since I was 12” reports Jimmy. “I operated smaller convenience stores but with this one we made the decision to step it up a notch.” Eluding to a large selection of craft beers and Boars Head deli.”
Jimmy's place is a small to medium sized specialty grocery store. A grocery store of which no other existed in downtown Las Vegas until October 2014 when the Downtown Market opened. This specialty grocery stores' outside siding and signs are retro 1950’s. Emitting a feel of what historic Las Vegas might have been. It was bought in 2012, remodeled and reopened in July 2013.
While the outside facade resembles an historic era, the inside not so much. It has new grocery and beverage coolers, ceilings, walls, and floors.
They carry a smattering of almost everything to cater to downtown locals and tourists alike. Fresh fruits and vegetables, OTC medications, liquor, canned, frozen and refrigerated foods.
The beef is natural grass fed and organic. Special butcher cuts like prime rib roasts are available by special order. Fresh frozen were ground beef, stew meat and steaks like rib eye and New York.
For seafood they carry non GMO frozen shrimp, wild cod, mahi mahi, and seafood mixes for your favorite recipe of seafood paella.
The owner boasts he tries to keep the Boar’s Head about a $1.00 cheaper than most places.
I asked Jimmy how is he able to compete with the larger grocery stores? “I guess it’s dedication, listening too and making relationships with the locals.” Where we are at we also cater to many tourists as well as from the Stratosphere. Out of curiosity I asked when the busy times were. He replied "The most action is at 10:00pm – 2:00am week nights and all weekend.
It’s niche is the downtown location and because small in size some prices are higher than the grocers who buy in humongous quantities. The White Cross Market supports locals by offing a 10% discount to us. Alcohol and tobacco of course are not included in the discount.
"The hardest and most frustrating part of running the White Cross Market is the hours because you want everything to be right.” "A 60-75 hour week is not uncommon." When he is away from the store the phone is never too far out of reach. Just in case an issue arises which only the owner can solve.
Craving a food the they don't carry? Tell the cashier, often they will order the item for a trial run to meet a local’s craving. If it sells well it’s regularly stocked, if the food doesn't sell then it’s dropped from precious shelf space.
The large craft beer selection caters to the most particular palates. Rare and diverse bottles would please any connoisseur of craft beer. Jimmy walks me over to show off this pride and joy of his market.
The second time I went in the cooler was working fine and the cheerful deli staff were assembling sandwiches and creating lunches.