Friday, March 12, 2010

Big M Supermarkets

Elbridge Big M.jpg
Glad I took this when I had the chance as it's a Tops now.

There is now an official site for Big M, a regional chain of franchised grocery stores that are chiefly in small towns and suburbs. I went to a few of these back in my day, yet not as much in recent history. The company were essentially purchased from Penn Traffic by C&S Wholesale Grocers. They used to be a stepsister to P&C in a way. They would have similar inventory. Big M were stepsister to Grand Union (mainly O&Os but also in Charles Kuralt-friendly communities) and Best Yet Markets (NYC/Long Island franchise).
I used to have a fan site, but the host shut down and I can't even archive it, so I had to start from scratch. I was not in the position to start a full-fledged site, so I think this was close enough before Big M made their own at last!  Some franchises are on Facebook like Alex Bay.
Big M are the largest chain of independent supermarkets in the state (with some in the Twin Tiers region). All are locally owned and operated in their respective towns and some are even union.  They charge fees according to one would-be store.
The ad still showed Topco private labels Food Club and Paws. Since Big M have been under C&S control the past few years, it looked like they may continue to carry these brands and the only places to get them in these parts now that Tops had moved their own brands into the former Penn Traffic chains (Tops used to have Ahold USA brands).  Big M now carry Best Yet which I go into more in another article.

Current locations:

North Region:

Alexandria Bay

Southern Region:

Osceola, PA (Tioga)
Westfield, PA++

Central Region:

Seneca Knolls (was Shurfine for a period; now the last Big M in Onondaga County and the flagship as office is about a mile away in van Buren)
Auburn (honorable mention; Maxwells has Big M signs inside and sells Best Yet items, which may mean they use C&S)

Western Region:

Gates (Rochester suburb)

Former locations:

Canisteo (not on site now)
Eagle Bay++
Baldwinsville (Smokey Hollow; previously Smiths Hometown Market; now vacant)
Syracuse (Burnet Ave.; also a Hometown Market and later Discount Natural Foods; building is now gone and a car park is there)
Clayton (now a Shurfine)
Clifton Springs
Elbridge**+ (pictured)
Jordan**+ (Tops to close)
Lyons (now Tops)
Hilton (Rochester exurb. Now Tops; also was Furnals Fresh Market, a ShurFine affiliate, as well as an ex-IGA franchise)*
Oriskany Falls++
New Berlin++
Whitney Point++
Hannibal (later IGA and became Tops in 2016)
Little Falls (closed but became Price Chopper in April 2014)
Montour Falls++
Old Forge (also now an IGA)
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, PA area (small town TBD)
Philadelphia, NY
Potsdam (went back to IGA)
Pulaski (almost became Big M but owner couldn't afford their fees so he also went to Shurfine instead but is now closed)
Sandy Creek***
Weedsport (now ShurFine)*
St Johnsville++
Union Springs (now ShurFine)*
Syracuse (Westcott St.; now a non-profit organisation)
Syracuse (Court St.; now Diamond Market)*
Syracuse (E. Colvin St. near SU; now vacant)
East Syracuse (ex-Leo & Sons; now a Thrifty Shopper)
Union Springs (Shurfine)
Fulton (Mirabitos Midstate on Cayuga St., former sister to current Hannibal store)*
Fulton (Strupplers on NY 48; later a Shurfine dealer and Valero station but just brought Tops back to town after a decade away)
Fort Plain (was Grand Union before it was Big M and is now a Save-a-Lot)
Syracuse (Previously Leahs Market on Onondaga Hill, but Big M sign was no longer on building. Formerly Abbotts before that. Later Hill Top Market, another ShurFine affiliate; now Big O Deli.)*
Syracuse (US 11 Wolf St on north side, later Wilson Farms, then Dullys, now Dollar Tree)

Other towns TBD.

All are closed or unknown to me unless indicated. Subject to change. *Now 100% indie. **Formerly Farrugia family-owned but has become Tops.  ***Became Tops in June 2013.  ++TBD (off official site)

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