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    PG Web Extra: Market Bistro by Price Chopper

    More about the June 2014 Store of the Month, and the company that operates it

    By Joan Driggs, Stagnito Business Information

    New Training Track

    Because of the focus on foodservice, Market Bistro took a different approach to staff training. The Schenectady, N.Y.-based company worked with BOCES (Board of Occupational Services) of New York State, which provides trade education, including culinary. While the school was able to provide basic skills, such as knife skills, needed in a foodservice environment, Market Bistro managers also provided deeper training specific to concepts and jobs.

    "The guest has to have the best experience, so the team members have to know the menu inside and out. They have to be able to make a great product fast and consistently; so the guest will get the same thing the next time they ask for it," says Lewis Shaye, Price Chopper’s VP of culinary innovation.

    Golub's Food Roots

    Neil Golub's grocery retail roots run deep. He’s the grandson of Lewis Golub, who arrived at Ellis Island from Russia in 1900 and settled in Schenectady, N.Y. Lewis opened a lunchroom, a dairy store and, eventually, a wholesale grocery warehouse in 1922.

    Shortly before Lewis' death in 1930, Golub Wholesale Foods merged with another wholesaler. Lewis' sons, Ben and Bill, who had grown up in their father's business, continued with the new organization. Together with their partner, they opened a large self-service supermarket in Green Island, N.Y., the first of its kind in upstate New York. The idea was so successful that they opened two more stores, one of them under what became the chain's new name, Central Market.

    After buying out their partner in 1943, Ben and Bill formed the Golub Corp., which continued to innovate and grow. By the end of the 1950s, there were 25 Central Markets. The next generation emerged during the 1960s, led by Ben's son, Lewis, and Bill's son, Neil. As a response to the down economy of the early 1970s, the company opened its first Price Chopper, an experimental grocery store focused on high quality and low price. The response to the store was so positive that all Central Market stores converted to the Price Chopper brand.

    Today, Price Chopper operates more than 130 stores. Its more than 22,000 employees own more than 47 percent of the company's privately held stock. The fourth generation of Golubs includes Jerry, Lewis' son, who is president and CEO; his brothers David (SVP of administration) and Christopher (project accountant); and Neil's daughter Mona (VP of public relations and consumer and marketing services).

    By Joan Driggs, Stagnito Business Information
    • About Joan Driggs Joan Driggs is Editorial Director of Progressive Grocer and Progressive Grocer Independent. She has more than 25 years of experience in trade journalism and market research. Joan enjoys connecting with CPG manufacturers and grocery retailers, and learning how they connect for the benefit of consumers. Her roots are in new product development and she continues to seek out the latest in greatest at grocery retail. To connect with Joan, email [email protected], or reach out on Twitter, @JoanPGrocer.

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