Specialty Food Magazine

MAY-JUN 2012

Specialty Food Magazine is the leading publication for retailers, manufacturers and foodservice professionals in the specialty food trade. It provides news, trends and business-building insights that help readers keep their businesses competitive.

Issue link: https://www.e-digitaleditions.com/i/62387

Contents of this Issue


Page 57 of 103

Getting the Location Right Sisters Gloria Griskowitz and Cathy Hamilton opened Putnam Market in its original location in 1995: a vast refurbished beer ware- house a few blocks from Broadway, Saratoga's main street. Before founding the market, the sisters each had built careers in national sales management and marketing for big corporations, Griskowitz for Clairol and Hamilton for General Electric. Hamilton was trans- ferred to the Saratoga area for GE in 1992, and within a couple of years began to think about running a business. Griskowitz, who moved to Saratoga in 1995, was mulling a similar thought, and the two realized that the town didn't have the kind of specialty food shops they encountered on their business travels. In Saratoga the siblings found a location that draws both the community and tourism. Named for the mineral waters that made the town a resort spa in the late 19th century, Saratoga Springs has an active, walkable downtown business district ringed by Victorian houses, parks and Skidmore College. The town's high season is July and August with six weeks of thoroughbred racing at the country's oldest racetrack, capped by the Travers Stakes, during which the Saratoga Performance Arts Center hosts rock concerts, the New York City ballet and the Philadelphia Orchestra. The sisters' first store, called Putnam Street Marketplace, was more akin to a full-service grocery store with huge meat and produce sections, stocked with then hard-to-find fruits, like blood oranges, currants and Champagne grapes, and bulk bins filled with dried pasta, trail mixes, nuts and candy. The problem was that store didn't have a walk-in business. So in 2000, they moved to a spot on Broadway, nestled in the middle of Saratoga's business district dotted with quirky shops. In a space that used to hold a skate park, the sisters were able to design a 5,300-square-foot store with 3,500 square feet devoted to retail and the rest to a huge kitchen, in which four or five chefs could work. The store now has 23 employees, 19 of them full-time. Focus on Prepared Foods Based on the experience with their first location, Griskowitz and Hamilton decided to get rid of the bulk bins and produce depart- ment and shift their business's focus to foods that they make them- selves. "We realized that where you make the bulk of your business is in things you can make on-site," Hamilton says. Prepared foods, including catering and bakery, currently comprises about a quarter of sales. Deli accounts for a third, wine about 23 percent and shelf goods for 22 percent of their business. The market has a robust lunch business, sending out platters of sandwiches during weekdays for area businesses, and making hearty specialty sandwiches to order. Popular choices include the Putnam, with smoked turkey, brie and honey mustard, and the Excelsior, with (fresh, not canned) tuna salad, sprouts and mayo. The bread, Summer Fancy Food Show Booth 5635 MAY/JUNE 2012 51 BOOTH 5635 Summer Fancy Food Show Booth 4422 WHAT'S NEW? HOT STUFF

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Specialty Food Magazine - MAY-JUN 2012