SCHENECTADY – Alltown Fresh officially opened its first New York state location Thursday morning at 1410-1424 Erie Boulevard with a ribbon cutting ceremony that celebrated another successful rehabilitation of an empty, industrial site within the city.
Considered a convenience store by business category, Alltown Fresh offers much more than just gas, cigarettes, beer, and snacks.
Its fresh food, made-to-order from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. jumps off the menu and hopefully into consumers palates. Pre-packaged items will be available 24-hours a day.
“I didn’t want to do just a convenience store like everybody else’s convenience store,” Erik Slifka, Global Partners LP CEO, said after the ribbon cutting. “I wanted to have a marketplace that offered fresh fruit, fresh food, made to order food that would give people if they were cutting edge or new age, eating vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, organic that we could provide that for them.
“That’s where I see the growth. People want more, they want better and I think we’re in a great position to provide that and we’re able to do that in the most convenient fashion as well.”
The site of the former Grossman’s Bargain Outlet now is the site of the 4,800 square feet convenience store with six gas pumps under a large canopy.
“We’ve had a slowdown because of COVID-19 where retail and other things have been put on hold,” Schenectady mayor Gary McCarthy said after the grand opening ceremony. “This is a good day for Schenectady, it’s a good day for Erie Boulevard. We’re impressed with this investment.”
This is not the first time that the city has turned a near hopeless lot into a potentially bustling commercial property.
“There were a lot of issues here,” McCarthy said. “The sub-surface oil and petroleum tanks that had to be cleaned up, remediation took longer than people had hoped, but it all came together.
“If you get in there you really see it’s a kind of different vision for a convenience store and we’re glad to have them as part of the re-vitalization of Erie Boulevard.
“We started the Proctor’s block, went from Erie Boulevard going to the community college and now it’s expanding out up into Mohawk Harbor. It’s creating real value.”
Alltown Fresh prides itself on locally sourced products, and to that extent, even its on-site chef.
“I’ve always had a vision, a love for local food, fresh food and giving people healthy food,” Chef Scott Baggott of Bethlehem said. “I met [Alltown’s Director of Culinary Innovation] Chef Josh [Smith] and we talked, it’s a great opportunity to bring this to N.Y., so I’m really excited about it.”
Baggott has been in the business for 25 years, working for top-rated locations including New World Bistro Bar, Provence and 677 Prime before joining Alltown.
“When [Chef Joshua Smith] first told me, it was a gas station I was like, what?” Baggott said. “I’m really impressed with the way these guys have built this place and what they’ve got going on here.”
The ‘fresh’ in the company’s name should come first.
“We grind our own peppers, squeeze our own lemons, limes,” Baggott said. “Everything is from around the corner, that right there, you taste it.
“You can taste the difference, that’s a big deal to me.”
He also has his own top personal favorite offerings.
“The Chula Vista is fantastic, the Korean Kimchi is amazing,” he said. “Even the sandwiches, they are simple, but clean and delicious.
“We use real avocados, not those pre-packed ones. All those little details create a really great experience for the customer and that’s what’s important.”
To see the complete fresh food menu, visit https://alltownfresh.com/food/.