Freshtown Supermarket to bring fresh village look

By Brian Sweeney
A public hearing on renovation plans for the A&P plaza will be held by the Margaretville Village Planning Board on Tuesday, Dec. 9 at 7 p.m. in the village offices. The Mount Vernon-based PSK Supermarkets purchased the A&P plaza last year. The company plans to take over the space occupied by the A&P and convert the store to a Freshtown Supermarket.
In addition to taking over the A&P footprint, the Freshtown plans call for gaining additional room by utilizing the adjacent space that previously housed the Soap & Suds laundry.
Dan Katz, vice president of PSK Supermarkets, told the News this week that his company plans to begin the store conversion on January 20. At that point, the store will be shut down for 10 days to two weeks.
To minimize disruption, the new owners will temporarily utilize the existing store equipment and much of the early work will involve a thorough cleaning and then restocking with fresh food.
Once the initial changeover is complete, full-scale renovations will be ongoing, primarily at night, so there’s minimal interference with daily operations.
Mr. Katz said the entire renovation will take between 6-9 months. This work will include a complete makeover of the exterior into an Adirondack-style façade.
He noted that the transformation will be lengthy because all of the electrical, plumbing and refrigeration systems need replacement.
“This will be one of the most comprehensive renovations we’ve ever done, because it needs so much work. More importantly, we are so happy to be a part of the community that we’re going way over the top on this one.”

Enhanced offerings
When the changover is complete, shoppers will have a store that is greatly expanded in every department.
“We’re going to have specially designed cases that will hold a much greater degree of products in all departments — meat, produce, bakery and dairy,” Mr. Katz explained.
He said that display cases will be about 90-95 inches tall and will hold “two- to three-times the variety that customers currently see.”
Mr. Katz’s brother, Noah, is designing the store so that the amount of offerings will be the equivalent of that found in a store of 30,000 or 35,000 square feet.
Extra checkout lanes and self-service lanes will be added to enhance customer convenience, Dan Katz noted.
He said that all refrigeration will be brand new, thus ensuring the highest quality of freshness for perishable foods.
“All this will be accomplished with much more competitive pricing then what you would see today in the store,” he added.
He said a special façade is being designed that will complement the entrance into the village.
“The façade will have an Adirondack-type motif that will complement the beautiful and picturesque mountains that surround the town and village,” he noted.
“We are so excited to come to be a part of the village and we hope that by having a brand new supermarket, that will bring more and more people to the area, that will benefit the other businesses,” he continued.

More parking
Mr. Katz also noted that his company has purchased the parking lot across Bridge Street (former site of the Margaretville Service Station) and that this area will be repaved and landscaped. The lot will be available for public use.
The Freshtown Supermarket in Margaretville will be the company’s 14th store. It also operates stores under the Foodtown name.
“We want to earn the respect of our customers and our community and we want to be very involved in all community functions,” Mr. Katz stated.
He also credited former MARK Group Director Joan Lawrence-Bauer with convincing company officials to pursue the Margaretville location.
“When Joan saw the types of stores that we operated, she began to discuss the possibility of us coming to Marg. And serving the comm. there – she was very persistent about having us come up and take a look,” and that’s how the process began. “As we learned more about the area, we became very interested and we believed that we could really make a difference.”

Café planned
In another matter, the Margaretville Planning Board will conduct another public hearing next Tuesday regarding Eva Fox’s application to open a café in the Palmer Hill Associates building on Main Street, Margaretville.
The location in which the café is planned, in the back of the former Bussy building, was most recently occupied by a fitness center.