A Smudge Fake News Exclusive
Area’s Saddest Grocery Stores Battle in Race to the Bottom
By Leslie Carp
Published January 29th, 2017
LANSINGBURGH — As national supermarket trends favor adding random numbers to their store names and jacking up prices to match Whole Foods, a few of the Capital Region’s underwhelming grocery stores are just saying ‘no.’
So far, a handful of stores in Cohoes, Lansingburgh, and Hoosick Falls have entered the rogue rebellion against fancification, with others expected to follow.
“We don’t need randomly generated numbers in our store name to succeed,” said Chip Chumpers, general manager of the dimly lit Cohoes Price Chopper at Congress Street. “We pride ourselves on tailoring our services to our people, and it just so happens to be that most of our people wait outside the store at 6 AM to buy beer.”
According to a recent industry report, 58 percent of all grocery-store revenue for FY2015 in what’s known as the Capital Region’s ‘Cohoes-Waterford-Lansingburgh Triangle’ came from domestic beer sales, with an additional 16 percent from cigarettes. The remaining 26-percent consisted mostly of packaged snack foods and store-brand soft drinks, with less than 5 percent from fresh produce.
While the prospect of a store that caters to alcoholics may seem impossibly grim, Misti Morrison asserts proudly that her store, the Food Carnival in Lansingburgh, has the least nutritious inventory of all the area’s stores. A Smudge reporter stopped by this week, and found the only fruit or vegetable to be found on the shelves was a single yellow onion.
“Remember that guy who filled his pockets with stolen meat at the 2nd Avenue Price Chopper a few years ago? He was actually one of our employees. No one can afford to buy meat, so they go to Price Chopper and steal it.”
In Hoosick Falls, Stewart’s on Route 7 is the only grocery store in town since the shuttering of Tops Friendly Markets. Shoppers who don’t want to cross state lines to go to the Hannaford in Bennington have no choice other than to subsist on bright red hot dogs, USA Gold cigarettes and Meat Lovers’ Eggwiches - until they die of gout or PFOA poisoning.
Cynics have compared the holdout by these stores against improvement to the oft-mocked occupation of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge by armed militants last January, calling it the “Tri-Wizard Tournament of Terrible Grocery Stores.”
"Maybe things are finally bad enough now that Wegmans will see this as an opportunity," said Percy Pegg, who founded the Facebook group, ‘We Want Wegman's.’