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Butler Dollar Store Expanding to Include Groceries

Landlord working with business to help with changes.

Butler Dollar Plus and Party is in the process of expanding to soon include a grocery store with produce and coffee bar.

The Main Street discount party supply store, across the street from Trackside Bar & Grill, is owned by Amkit Kakkad and has been open for the past two years. His father, Ketan Kakkad, has helped manage the store over the past six months.

Ketan Kakkad said he first moved to America from India in 1987 to try to make a better life for himself and his family.

"This is the only country in the world where one has the solace that even if someone loses everything and comes on the street, one can still come back up. The people and the system here have that heart built in to help that person make it back," he said.

The family first opened an Oak Tree Dollar store in Edison in 2009. In 2010, the Kakkads celebrated after learning that jewelry they had designed was featured on swimsuit models in Sports Illustrated. This was not the only time the Kakkads or their work were featured in the media. Ketan Kakkad was featured in a documentary program on several Indian television stations for his Ganesha religious statue collection.

The Kakkads moved to Butler shortly after and Amkit Kakkad opened the store. Up until now, the store has offered discount houseware items, party supplies, jewelry and more. Now, the store will offer food items as well.

"We are upgrading the whole store to an upscale news stand with Dollar Plus and Party items, light groceries and produce," Ketan Kakkad said.

The dollar store items will be pushed to one half of the space while refrigerators will take up the other half. The store is also applying to receive its license to sell lottery tickets.

Emil DeLade, the landlord of the building, has been helping with the renovations, including building a counter for the new Green Mountain Coffee selection the store is offering customers. Kakkad has invited patrons to brew Keurig brand coffee or enjoy hot brewed Green Mountain coffee and for a limited time, receive a free 10 oz. coffee with the purchase of a newspaper.

DeLade said he is pleased with the renovations his tenant is completing. He said other Main Street businesses should be inspired.

"I think it's fantastic and I think the town should do more to help them," DeLade said.

Kakkad said the business has had a good relationship with DeLade and that "he's not just a landlord, he's like a godfather." DeLade, who has owned several properties throughout the borough, said he has never had any problems with the Kakkads either.

"In almost 50 years, they have been, by far, my best tenant," DeLade said.

John Parry October 18, 2012 at 03:41 AM
I go out of my way to visit this store. The family is nice and wiil do everything to make your trip worthwhile. Plus, the coffee is great and now they carry newspapers as well as everything under the sun. A great value to Main Street, Butler!
mimi October 18, 2012 at 02:04 PM
They are great people at this store. Always very helpful and friendly. I wish the rest of the Main St. landlords would follow and help their tenants. Then maybe more would come to the stores. Look at how Pompton Lakes has improved it's downtown area.
George Jones October 18, 2012 at 03:28 PM
i so agree, mimi. Love to see downtown like it was when i was a kid
Louis Spataro October 19, 2012 at 12:37 AM
Why doesn't the tow have the street fair on Main St. anymore?
Louis Spataro October 19, 2012 at 12:38 AM
Town
Kim November 24, 2012 at 12:58 AM
I stop in this Butler Dollar Store very frequently. The whole family that owns it are very sweet and helpful. They do have a great variety of items there to choose from. I wish them the best of luck with their expansion!!! Kim -- Butler Alumni
Richard Dean November 24, 2012 at 12:32 PM
Why doesn't the town have the street fair anymore?? It was a private corporation that did it. Businesses on Main Street found that unless they paid a fee to that promoter they could not put their wares on display along the sidewalk like they did other days of the week. Those businesses pay rent to landlords who pay property taxes to Butler and the businesses also pay electric and water bills to Butler. So while it seemed a great idea, other than the time for our centennial I don't think it was such a great idea.

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