Katie Epstein’s first memory of her grandparents’ pharmacy and deli, now Hurley Ridge Market, was when she was three. “I was surprised as anyone to find out we were selling to Hannford’s,” she said this week of the announcement she got alongside everyone else at the market on Friday, April 21. “It’s definitely very sad to see this all changing.”
Hannaford Supermarkets made their announcement in a formal press release on Monday, April 24, noting plans to open a new store at the West Hurley location this summer.
“Hannaford is excited about the opportunity to serve local residents and become an active member of the community,” said company spokesman Eric Blom in the release. “Customers will find great fresh food, a wide assortment of products and everyday low prices at their West Hurley Hannaford.”
It was further noted that the property’s new owner, Southern Realty and Development, had approached Hannaford about leasing the 26,000-square-foot space once Hurley Ridge Market closed July 20. Renovations, Hannaford’s press release added, will begin immediately after and are expected to last one month.
Epstein, who currently serves as Hurley Ridge Market’s assistant store manager, said that a meeting has been set with Hannaford top brass and the new property owners on May 2, at which time details will be elaborated on regarding future work at Hannaford’s for the current store’s 74 employees, store offerings, and other matters.
Southern Realty and Development, in a separate press release, said that Main Street Wine and Liquor, Governor Clinton Cleaners and Rondout Savings Bank will keep their current leases and stay open through the main store’s renovations this summer. The Warwick-based company has noted that over its 25 year history it has, “developed and or acquired in excess of 3,000,000 square feet of retail properties in the northeastern and southeastern United States,” with retail tenants including CVS, Home Depot, Wal-Mart, Taco Bell, Dunkin Donuts, Hampton Inns and Hannaford Supermarkets.
Langer’s in 1970
Katie Epstein remembers her dad, Michael, serving as deli manager for years before Bill and Barbara Epstein decided to start expanding after the closing of the Grand Union Market in Woodstock, which became a CVS. Her mom, Tzeitel, was bookkeeper, and for a long while they managed the store.
“He’s been out on medical leave for the last year,” she said. “Owning the store was very hard on my grandmother after Bill, my grandfather, died in January of 2016.”
The Epsteins first purchased the old Langer Pharmacy in West Hurley in 1970; they later bought the market that was adjacent to their pharmacy in 1986, expanding it to 12,000 square-feet to include an in-store bakery, fresh meat and seafood counter and a fresh produce department as an alternative to the Grand Union in its last years. In 2002 they added an additional 12,000 square-feet for a larger deli, more organic products, and even a popular sushi counter. More recently, longtime Hurley Ridge employee Teri Bach-Tucker was named manager, with the third generation Epstein, Katie, as her assistant.
Bach-Tucker spoke this week, in a separate interview, about the loyal customer base of full-time and weekender residents that Hurley Ridge Market has built up over the years, along with such specialty items as 500 types of beer and dozens of cheeses requested by the community. The upscale nature of the market was brought up.
Barbara Epstein, in another press release, noted simply that, “For everything there is a season and now is the time to move on. The Epstein family, with gratitude and appreciation, thanks the Hurley Ridge Market staff and the communities they have served.”
“Our goal is to open the new Hannaford as quickly as possible to begin serving customers,” Blom said of the company founded in Maine 134 years ago and currently operating 181 stores with 27,000 employees throughout the Northeast. “We understand how important a supermarket is for local residents, both as a source of groceries and as a community center.”
Concurrent to the Hurley Ridge Market announcement, Sunflower Natural Foods in Woodstock has brought forth early plans to the town planning board and commission on civic design for a full renovation of Bradley Meadows shopping plaza. More on this in the near future.
Meanwhile, Katie Epstein added that she was hoping the new supermarket going into the space she feels she’s grown up in will still have sushi. Yet she also acknowledged reality.
“All of us in the family have a sense of relief,” she said. “It’s been hard with the local population decreasing. It’s been a long financial struggle.”