It's two years now since Ann and Juan Origel, on their own initiative and wherewithal, brought to downtown MV what city government, consultants, and neighborhood groups had been unable to for many years: a general community grocery market at 340 Castro. Complementing CVS's grocery aisles and Easy Foods (299 Castro), whose Asian grocery selection has grown, Ava's now furnishes people living and working in the downtown area with many grocery needs formerly requiring a separate trip to a "destination" supermarket.
A longtime goal of full delicatessen service with ready-to-eat foods is due for unveiling Monday November 4, Ann Origel told me, with "soft" or trial service starting Friday November 1. Then it will really be "Ava's Downtown Market and Deli."
Ava's has evolved nonstop in its two years, with remodeling and equipment upgrades. From one visit to the next, I sometimes think I've stepped into a different shop. The deli's arrival should be a major milestone.
The shop's inventory evolves too. Items I needed that Ava's lacked in earlier days have appeared on the shelves, sometimes even without asking. It can seem downright supernatural.