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South Orange Liquor Store Owners Open Convenience Store

New owners of Village Express renovate store at the Millburn train station.

Sanjay and Priya Chawla, who own A & D Liquor Store at 396 Valley Street in South Orange, are the new owners of Village Express at the Millburn train station.

The couple used to also have a deli at 394 Valley Street. Once Mrs. Chawla became pregnant with their first son, she closed the deli 10 years ago to raise him.

However, Mrs. Chawla was ready to return to work. "I just wanted to do something," Mrs. Chawla said. "With this store I get a chance to creatively display everything."

Their convenience store offers a variety of Starbucks K-Cups, Green Mountain coffee and fresh brewed ice tea everyday. And if you're a green tea lover, the store offers a specialty homemade tea mixed with jasmine. 

"People have been going crazy over this green tea," Mrs. Chawla said. 

The store opens up a little before 5 a.m. everyday for the earliest commuters and Mrs. Chawla said she's there every morning at least an hour before that to make the coffee and tea.

"Our first customer stops in everyday right before five in the morning," she said. But even though the store is open until 6 p.m., a 14-hour work day, she said it usually stays open later. 

"I take everything apart and clean it so I'm usually here past six," she said. 

Mrs. Chawla, who is in the shop everyday, said she's, "always been attracted to Millburn. I always come here and shop."

The store also sells a collection of purses, jewelry and accessories imported directly from India, which she displays in a display case and scattered on the spiral stair case.

Before it reopen, Mrs. Chawla said they put a lot of work into remodeling the it. "We got rid of everything that was in here."

"All the customers have seemed so happy," Mrs. Chawla said, in her first week running her new store space.

Laura Nichols August 11, 2012 at 04:58 AM
I hope that Priya is cooking her authentic Indian cuisine! I am a long time fan of the Chawla's and hope them only the best. *(added trivia, Priya is a Bollywood star, please stop and talk with her, she has wonderful stories to tell and is a phenom Indian chef) Laura Nichols The Blue Plate Special/A Gracious Event
Marcia Worth (Editor) August 11, 2012 at 11:53 AM
That's great to know and makes me hungry already! Thanks, Laura

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