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Is upstate NY ignored by better food chains?

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this stems from the trader joes discussion.we're moving to albany soon and between no trader joes,whole foods and the like,it seems like the upstate areas are ignored.i do understand there are some good places to go from earlier threads but it seems odd to me that the state capitol and 2nd largest city in the state,i think,isn't considered a good enough demographic for stores like that.

any thoughts on this?

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  1. Albany isn't the 2nd largest city in the state (Buffalo is); it's 6th. At under 100,000, it's about the same size as Cheektowaga, a Buffalo suburb. Schenectady is 10th. We just might not be populous enough to warrent the mixed blessing of food chains. Trader Joe's would be nice, though. I like their shampoo. What we do have is a nice variety of independently-owned food stores, farmer's markets and farmsteads, ethnic butchers, Asian groceries and locally-owned restaurants.

    5 Replies
    1. re: PSZaas

      thanks for the correction.i hadn't actually checked the population count.that's what i get for assuming.i am looking forward to checking out the local places but we will miss certain things.

      1. re: davmar77

        there is a monopoly here with Price Chopper head being very politically connected. I would love to see a whole foods here but we are often skipped. I don't really know if we have the population to support it.

        1. re: jspear

          I don't know about the population argument. There's a Whole Foods 10 minutes away from me in Hadley, MA. The population of all of Western Massachusetts is quite a bit less than the Capital District, and on top of that, Hadley is 30 minutes from the main population center of the area. I would imagine it's there because of the large college concentration in the area.

          1. re: mk1154

            I actually think the Whole Foods in Hadley, and the nearby Trader Joes are the nearest of those two establishments to Albany.

            1. re: mk1154

              My local organic farm out of the Rochester/Buffalo area delivers its food to whole foods in MA instead of Wegmans in the NY area. Apparently WF pays better and is more interested in local farmers.
              Sucks that there is no WF in the Western NY area for them to sell to. I'd kill for a Trader Joes here too.

      2. Well... as an alternative to Whole Foods you may want to give Honest Weight Food Coop http://www.hwfc.com/ in Albany a try.

        1. I have been living in Albany about 10 years - I tried a one person email campaign to Whole Foods and Trader Joes for awhile, but the best reply I got was that there were no plans in the immediate future.

          It seems to me that there are plenty of people here, many colleges, and many state employees, etc. plus it would serve the Troy/Schenectady area as well as Saratoga. Also I am sure people headed to the Adirondacks and Lake George areas for vacations/weekends could be enticed to stock up on provisions enroute. There really is very little to compete.

          The next best thing are Adams Fairacre farms in Kingston, POK, and Newburgh, to the south, and Guido's Marketplace in the Great Barringtons and Pittsfield areas, to the east.

          A little closer than either Hadley or White Plains.

          I am a fan of the HWFC but it is not the same in terms of selection and range. Not even close on baked and prepared foods.

          Price Chopper is a decent enough grocery store, but when I saw a Whole Foods in Pittsburgh where my family lived, it is definitely not the same. Even though my brother refers to it as "Whole Paycheck".

          I definitely feel we are deprived upstate.

          1. Hi:

            Forgive the interruption, but the focus of Chowhound is on where to find great chow now. We ask that posters discuss where to look for some of those harder-to-find items and other local options for those types of chow, rather than discussing why the better food chains aren't in your area, or how to get them to come to your area.