215 Main Street
Germantown, NY 12526
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Register-Star | Monday, September 29, 2008
The buzz in Germantown this week was not over school or zoning issues, but the future opening of a grocery store.
With high gas prices, residents have to travel to Hudson or Red Hook to purchase anything beyond what local convenience stores offer. This will soon change.
Before Thanksgiving, people in Germantown can expect to buy their turkey and all the trimmings locally, right on Main Street. That's when Otto's Market is set to open.
New owner, Otto Leuschel says, "People see me working on the store, and stop in to say thank you. They're excited the market is re-opening since it closed two years ago."
Leuschel expects to hire eight people to help run the grocery store, which will have a meat counter, bakery, daie and frozen section, and carry dry goods. Fresh produce will come from local farmers. Customers can sit down and taste store-made baked goods, soups, cold salads and entrees, even some of Leuschel's family's recipes.
"I want this to be a grocery store of a different era, small town Americana in the 1930s and '40s," Leuschel said. "I even found treasures from the store to display."
Leuschel says he wants to honor the building's history, which has been operating as a grocery store since the 1920s.
"I want to make this a really good little grocery store, with something to offer you no matter what you came in for," he said.
With the help of Corinne Curry of Germantown's Economic Development Committee, Leuschel held two focus groups, asking residents what they wanted.
"This was very helpful," said Leuschel. "it gave me guidance and direction in selecting products."
Leuschel is not a novice in the food industry. He left Whole Foods Market, the world's largest retailer of natural and organic foods, as its vice-president of operations in the New York City area, overseeing 16 high-volume stores.
Leuschel is trading in that job to open a 2,500-square-foot small-town store, and is looking forward to the adjustment.
He said he had considered sites in Vermont, but "I love the Hudson Valley and didn't want to leave."
Copyright Small Town Grocer