Friday, March 12, 2010

Local grocers in CNY

P&C Foods
Thank the Lord I got this as you never think it could be gone one day.

A recently bygone era.

I will start a post on buying local overall shortly. First, I will start in one of my main areas of expertise, the grocery industry.
While the P&C name stuck around through the summer (click the link for its current incarnation), similar situations have occurred with other companies, new guard Tops is a Western NY institution, ending a tradition in Central NY going back decades. There also used to be a co-op called Hometown Markets (see other post), whose partners were Peters (an IGA in early days), Smiths, Burnet, Araces, Williams, Sweetheart, and Nojaim Bros. Most of these have closed, with Williams in 1996, Sweetheart in 2003, and Peters over a year later. Sole survivors Nojaims in Marcellus and Syracuses west side, along with Liverpools Nichols (also an ex-IGA) and Fultons Strupplers are now ShurFine affiliates. Health-conscious hipsters have the Syracuse Real Food Coop (or as I call it, the hippie store!). Also see my earlier post on Big M. In Utica, Chanatrys on French Road remains highly involved in the community. Byrne Dairy holds their own. However, I'm not fond of those inner-city cornershops, as they have a tepid reputation (from a retail point of view). You know what I mean! They're a different animal anyway.
Green Hills near Nedrow had once been named the biggest little grocery store in America. So thats supposed to make it the Reno of supermarkets? I should stop there more often!
On Syracuses upper south side, Jubilee Homes will set up a small supermarket on South Ave. This is a part of town where there isn't a lot of money and many people don't have a car, much like me. The bus isn't always feasible for bringing a lot of groceries home, especially for families with small children as well as the over-60s, so to have something nearby with healthy choices is very essential. As far as I know, this will be 100% indie, and not an IGA or Big M franchise. The store may have the Jubilee name, but it is not related to a store in Chemung County in the Twin Tiers area.
While Price Chopper, Wegmans, Tops, and Walmart have marginalised the market, there will always be a niche for local selection in the Syracuse area.


  1. I wanted to say thanks for your blog! I was doing some personal research into old retail stores in upstate NY where I grew up and stumbled across this blog. I remember many many places in the Fulton and Montgomery County areas that I remember fondly. Wondering if you've done any research into old department stores that I've been trying to find any info, pics on like Ames, Barkers, Jamesway and old Woolworth stores or have I missed them in your blog? Again, thank you!

  2. PS... Yes, the Green Hills in Nedrow is an excellent independant grocers that I am pleased is still thriving! Definitely visit it sometime. My wife learned to bag groceries there and my mother in law still lives a few blocks away.