Hilltop Superette Undergoes Needed Upgrading While Keeping Charm

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San Patel, New Owner of the Hilltop Superette. Behind Him on the Wall is a Photo of his Wife, Radhika Shah Patel, With Their Infant Son, Kiaan Atlas.

Some of the Liquor Now for Sale at the Superette,  It was Awarded a Liquor License for the First Time Ever This Spring.

The Award Winning Hardshore Original Gin, from the Hardshore Distilling Co., 53 Washington Avenue, on the East End of Portland, is for Sale at the Superette Now.

Emily, a Customer Likes the Changes She Has Seen at the Patel Superette.

Cashier Dawson Trask at Work Early This Evening at the Hilltop Superette, 135 Congress Street.

Sam Patel, the newest owner of the Hilltop Superette, said he is here to stay for many years to come. He means it.  The popular convenience store at the corner of North and Congress Streets has changed hands several times since a two-alarm fire in March of 2013..

That fire was so devastating that it took many months for the insurance company and the then owners of  Colucci’s Market to come to agreement on a settlement.  The owners were Bridget and Tony Jacobsky who largely ignored  opportunities to update their Market. Tenants in the upper floor of the store were displaced by the fire and one dog perished in it due to smoke inhalation. The Jacobsky’s are now retired in Florida year round.

In 2014, the Market was sold to Munjoy Hill resident Bill Simpson with financial backing from controversial, apartment building owner Tom Watson.  Simpson renamed the Market –  the Hilltop Superette.  It went back on the market – always at prices that ,many thought were excessive in amount.  It would never, ever sell, neighbors thought.

On January 3, 2019 Greg Snyder, who resides in the Augusta area purchased the Superette from Simpson.  Snyder confirmed his purchase of the Market in an interview with mhn.com on January 4, 2019.  When asked by mhn.com how much he paid for the business, Snyder responded:  “Too much.”

Recently, rumors flourished that the business was up for sale, again.

Sam Patel confirmed that he purchased the Superette from Snyder this past June 4, 2021.  Patel, an experienced local business owner, said that he offered all of Snyder’s employees their same jobs.  Only one of them stayed on.  That was the former front end manager who now works as an assistant manager in the Superette.  Patel has brought in a new chef who has introduced a totally different menu.  He has also hired a new general manager, Ken.  The Superette is fully staffed – a major accomplishment because so many businesses in southern Maine have been unable to do the same.

Patel, who grew up in Chicago and lives in the Monument Square area,  said he is gradually upgrading his new business. His Superette acquired a liquor license just several months prior to his purchasing it – the only liquor store on the Hill – a real convenience for residents of the Hill. Patel has added  new flooring and removed a cooler in the back of the store.  Other planned changes will come gradually and with that in mind, he has planned a Grand Opening for May 21, 2022.

In the past, former store owner Snyder was not shy about touting his unsolicited political views. “This store will no longer participate in any political chatter.  We are here to serve all walks of life with a smile,” Patel told this blogger this afternoon in his office at the store.. He means it.

Customers are pleased with the changes so far.   Emily, a frequent customer there, said she likes the changes she has observed so far.  “There is a lot more stock, the store is cleaner than it was under the previous owner, it has been reorganized and the staff is friendlier than the previous staff,” she said.  She means it.

The Superette is open seven days a week between 7:00 am and 9:00 pm.  The kitchen is closed on Sunday.

Please read posts herein dated January 4, 2019, June 20, 2014, December 26, 2019 and September 13, 2020 for more background information on the Hilltop Superette.  Mhn.com lived directly across North Street from the Superette prior to the fire and for years following it.