NORTHVILLE - Although now officially part of the GU Family Markets group, since 1961 village residents have been shopping at the Grand Union.
"As far as our customers are concerned, it's still Grand Union," Manager Brian Weakley said.
Weakley is the longest- tenured employee still there, having survived the bankruptcy proceedings of 2000 when Grand Union stores were divided between competitors. The Northville store is now part of C&S Wholesale Grocers of Keene, N.H.
The Leader-Herald/Bill Trojan
Brian Weakley, the store manager of the Grand Union in Northville, places seasonal baked goods on display at the store Thursday.
"We're a big supermarket with more than 25,000 varieties squished into a small space," Weakley said.
He said the store employs 25 to 30 people in the winter and double that during the summer to accomodate seasonal residents.
"We have a full-service deli, meat and produce departments," Weakley said.
He said the store also has many special services, such as receiving phone bill payments, National Grid payments and having Western Union service at the store.
"We're open seven days a week until 9 p.m.," he said. "We also swap out propane tanks here."
Local customers said they appreciate the store's similarity to a large market coupled with small-town customer service.
Sally Peck of Northville said she was thrilled to comment on the store and what it means to her and her family.
"We'd be lost without them," she said. "They are incredibly accommodating."
She said the store employees try hard to be good neighbors. When she requested particular food items the store didn't carry, it began to stock them for her.
Jon Eschler of the Inn at the Bridge said he found the store convenient.
"The prices may be a little higher, but they save a long trip to another store," Eschler said. "Our guests find it convenient also."
Bonnie Quackenbush of Beautiful Interiors in Northville agreed.
"I love Grand Union," Quackenbush said. "I don't know what I'd do without it."
She said all the staff at the store work hard to accommodate customers.
"I wish everyone in the village would use it," she said.
Quackenbush said she especially liked the meat department and was constantly a customer of the produce and dairy departments.
"It's all-around great," she said.
Weakley said although the store is part of a 40-store chain with C&S in the northeast, the local store maintains a small town feel. Other similar markets are in Chestertown, Schroon lake, North Creek, Middleburgh, Bolton Landing and Saranac Lake.
Peck also agreed the store has special services.
"They even have little grocery carts for the kids to push around," she said.
Peck said when a huge cake for her son's graduation wouldn't fit in her freezer, the Grand Union allowed her to keep it there. Peck said she appreciated the way the store treated their customers.
"It has a real family feel to it," she said.
C&S is the second-largest food wholesaler and the tenth largest privately held company in the U.S., according to its Web site.
The company distributes food to supermarkets, retail stores, and military bases across the country. Currently, C&S serves more than 5,000 stores from more than 70 locations in 12 states.
For more information, call 863-6776 or stop by the 201 N. Main St. location.
Richard Nilsen is a general assignment reporter and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org