Increasing numbers of Valley residents are shying away from big-box supermarkets teeming with over-processed foods and associates with couldn’t-care-less attitudes. In their place, a variety of smaller, more community-focused groceries are growing in popularity. Some (like Mother Earth’s Storehouse in Poughkeepsie, Kingston, and Saugerties) are already well established. Here are a few spots you might not yet know about, and reasons why you should.
Photograph by Ken Gabrielson
The family-run Palisades Market aims to bring back that nostalgic, corner store feel. It’s a grocery where people can shop for fresh, healthy food; but it’s also a community gathering place.
Keeping it local: Housed in a history-rich building which was home to a gas station in the 1930s, the business sells produce from area farms, fresh-baked breads, the much-loved Jane’s Ice Cream from Kingston, and coffees, to name a few items. There’s even a chef on the premises for homemade treats.
Chat and chew: Owner Dianne Walsh Fuhrmann says she has always enjoyed having healthy food and conversation together, and wanted to create a place where people could shop, sit, eat, and gather. The market also supports community-based fund-raisers; offers indoor and outdoor seating; and even hosts open mic nights.
Palisades Market. 243 Rte. 9W, Palisades. 845-359-3911
After working for Whole Foods for 17 years, Otto’s Market owner Otto Leuschel was looking for a change of pace; he found his calling in Columbia County and opened this community staple in 2008.
Best of both worlds: A variety of brand-name items can be found here, but also a wide selection of locally sourced milk, coffee, meats, cheeses, and more. Deli goods and catering are available.
Cool history: Between 1927 and the 1940s, the building was a market owned by Tracy Osborn Rockefeller. On its opening day as Otto’s Market, Rockefeller’s daughter, Edna Rockefeller Salpaugh, paid a visit to the place from which she once delivered groceries.
From marketplace to cyberspace: The shop’s Web site includes a pick-of-the-week listing, recipes, and a section for kids.
Otto’s Market. 215 Main St., Germantown. 518-537-7200
Although Beacon Natural Market is only celebrating its fifth year, owners Kitty and L.T. Sherpa have been in the health food business for 21 years.
Best known for: Beacon Natural carries foods from around the region, including breads, dairy products, eggs, and grass-fed beef, but they are also well-known for their wide variety of vitamins, herbs, and natural medicines. A nutritionist on staff can help shoppers choose the best options.
Top-sellers: Organic olive oil, eggs from Cold Spring’s Glynwood farms, and all-natural chicken.
Neighborhood-friendly: Indoor seating is available in an inviting atmosphere.
Beacon Natural Market. 348 Main St., Beacon. 845-838-1288
Emmanuel’s Marketplace, a family-run business owned by Emmanuel Gerondaras, is now in its 13th year of selling some of the freshest local, organic foods.
What to expect: They sell mostly produce, but there is also a great deli section and a variety of tasty baked goods.
Community connection: The market’s fruits and veggies come from different farms, including the popular Minard Farms in Clintondale — well-known for its delicious apple cider.
What makes it unique: Although it’s an in-and-out kind of place, this market gets kudos for its clean environment, fresh food, support of local businesses, and helpful staff.
Emmanuel’s Marketplace. 3853 Main St., Stone Ridge. 845-687-2214