A popular Greek supermarket in deli in Vancouver's Kitsilano neighbourhood has been badly damaged in a suspicious fire -- but it's not the first time the business has gone up in flames.

At the Parthenon Supermarket on West Broadway, investigators have found evidence that the overnight fire was deliberately set.

"It's quite visible that someone came here, tried to do some damage and has done that quite successfully, unfortunately," Sal Audia, a friend of the owners, told CTV News.

The store was surrounded by yellow police tape on Tuesday, and owner Kyriakos Katsanikakis is said to be devastated by the blaze.

"He's quite distraught -- very, very shaken -- and you can appreciate that he just is at a loss for words at this point," Audia said.

This is the second time Parthenon has been hit by fire; the store was destroyed in a blaze 12 years ago, and rebuilt at the same location. At the time, investigators said that a cigarette may have been to blame.

It's unlikely that the damaged store will reopen in time for the holidays, and the arson investigation could take months.

But Audia says the Parthenon will eventually be back in business.

"They have been a part of this community for many, many years, and they will be back," he said.

With a report from CTV British Columbia's Mike Killeen