What’s been going on at former site of Mississauga’s legendary grocer Michael-Angelo’s?

Last November, the popular independent grocery store and a long-time Sauga fixture, Michael-Angelo’s, closed after 30 years of business.  Starsky Fine Foods, the Eastern European grocer, assumed Michael-Angelo’s lease and opened a new grocery store, the Four Seasons Marketplace, on Michael-Angelo’s former 4099 Erin Mills Parkway site.

However, since May, the Four Seasons Marketplace had “Closing for renovations. Liquidation sale” sign at storefront, and on their website. “50% off of everything!” the homepage hollers.  Many Saugans in the area and regular customers started to scratch their heads, wondering what the heck is going on.

Well, mystery is now solved.  Come July, a new grocer is taking over the location.  Four Seasons has sold the store to Iqbal Malek, president and CEO of Iqbal Halal Foods.

“I’m excited and the community should be as well,” Malek said. “We’re extremely unique and different and we will offer customers some different products and quite a new experience.”

Iqbal Halal Foods is known for its selection of tropical fruits and vegetables, Halal certified meat, imported dry goods and many kinds of bulk spices, nuts and snacks.

The grocery store has one location in Toronto’s Thorncliffe Park, but the Mississauga store seems to be intended as an expansion step for Iqbal Halal Foods — it will reportedly be much bigger than the one in Toronto.

Malek said the new store will include about 35,000 square feet of retail space, a hot foods section and a meat department and will be committed to “quality, freshness and reasonable prices.”

“We have done a study of the (western GTA) and found that there is a huge South Asian community in Mississauga and other municipalities,” he said.

So, the 4099 Erin Mills Parkway site will still be a place for Saugans to get groceries.  And for those looking for employment, the July opening of the Iqbal Halal Foods is especially good news.  The new store plans to hire about 125 people — all from the various Mississauga environs.