Since 1932, we’ve been partnering with local farmers and producers in our region. You can find regionally produced products in departments across our stores, including our baby food aisle, thanks to our Upstate New York friends at Beech-Nut.
It all started 120 years ago in downtown Canajoharie, NY. World-famous baby food company Beech-Nut began as the Imperial Packing Company in 1881. Founded by Bartlett Arkell, brothers Raymond and Walter Lipe, and other brothers John and David Zieley. They started off smoking hams, but as time went on added other products, such as chewing gum, coffee, and of course, baby food. By 1900, sales climbed up to $200,000 and the company was officially incorporated as the Beech-Nut Packing Company.
During its heyday, Beech-Nut employed between 1,800 to 2,200 people, and many retirees have remained loyal to the company. With its success, Beech-Nut brought a wonderful buzz to the upstate New York village. The daily downtown lunch scene was vibrant, sidewalks and local eateries were full of life. The plant was truly the heartbeat of Canajoharie, and the company’s baby food was the main reason for such prosperity.
The manufacturing of baby food sent a sweet, fruity scent flowing through the community, as Beech-Nut continued to work on its formulas. In 1977, a line of baby food was introduced with no added salt. Twenty years later it removed refined sugar, and in 2002 introduced a line with essential fatty acids.
After a 119-year tenure in Canajoharie, Beech-Nut moved its headquarters to Montgomery County’s Town of Florida Business Park, where it remains today. Beech-Nut continues to be a consistent home.grown. source of high-quality baby food right in our own neighborhood.
Beech-Nut is just another example of our pride in local products and providing the best to our customers. Thanks to local famers and producers right in our region, we can continue to meet our home.grown. goals.
home.grown. Corn: How Sweet It Is!
Sweet corn is a seasonal treasure. It’s one of our favorites to enjoy all summer long, especially in peak growing season here in the Northeast! We’re proud to source sweet corn locally when the season rolls in, but did you know that this crop takes a sourcing journey all the way up East Coast each year, before our region’s annual bounty hits?
Warmer weather typically hits our region in full force by mid-May, and the people of the Northeast hit their backyards. Early in what we like to call “grilling season,” we’re usually tapping into Florida’s sweet corn season, as our Northeast farmer’s plant, water and tend to their fields.
By June, the summer season is officially setting in. Around here, the weather heats up, the sun stays out and our sweet corn starts to come a bit closer. We move our map pin from Florida to Georgia and begin bringing in Georgia-grown sweet corn for a while. Northeastern cornstalks have sprouted by the end of the month, in preparation for harvest in a few weeks. We can hardly wait.
Weather factors heavily into almost all of the crops we source locally each year, and sweet corn is no exception. While we prepare for the mid-July checkered flag on our beloved local sweet corn, we source our corn in parts of North Carolina and Delaware, where local corn season has set in. It’s delicious, as was the Floridian and Georgian corn, but we’re chomping at the bit for corn from our backyard!
Sometime between mid and late July each year, our favorite point in the local agriculture season hits: sweet corn season. Our Produce teammates smile from ear to ear, pun intended, as crates from friends like Shaul Farms in Fultonham, New York, Paul Mazza Farms in Colchester, Vermont, and more start to arrive. This amazing season seems to go by in the blink of an eye, much like the holidays do, and typically lasts until mid-September. Our local farmers deliver consistently during this time, and we can’t get enough!
Celebrate Shopping Local with Northeast Made Products!
At Price Chopper & Market 32, we pride ourselves on providing our customers with fresh, close to home ingredients. To ensure that when you’re shopping our aisles, you’re choosing from the highest quality selection of locally made products. It’s what’s best for you and your family!
Milk: Our PICS milk is bottled in New York with the help of over 500 Northeast dairy farmers: When you take home a jug of our milk, you’re taking home the product of hard-working local farmers (and cows) from our region. Located in Hudson Falls, NY, Ideal Dairy Farms is a great local dairy farm. These folks are just a few miles down the road from our Fort Edward store. Ideal Dairy first began selling milk to local residents around 1908. These days they produce over 16,000 gallons of milk per day! Despite operating for over 100 years, the vision of Ideal Dairy has remained unchanged: they’re committed to the production of quality milk for their community.
Granola: Every batch of PICS granola is hand made in Schenectady, New York. Made with the finest ingredients using artisanal baking techniques, this granola will soon be your go-to granola. Snack on it plain, add milk, top your ice cream with it – no matter how you use it, you will enjoy every bite!
Maple Syrup: We live in one of the only regions in the world with the ideal climate for maple agriculture, and we’re proud to partner with a wide variety of local maple farmers and producers here in the Northeast, who are currently preparing for this year’s maple sugaring season.
These are just a few of the wide variety of local products available in our stores. You can find many more homegrown PICS items on our shelves. Featured in our ad this week are PICS cottage cheese and eggs, two of our go-to locally made items.
Shop Local PICS Products
Local Legends: Grandma Brown's Baked Beans
Local Legends: Grandma Brown’s Baked Beans
We’re rockin’ the support for local growers and producers this summer! We’ll be touring our Northeast region, highlighting local products and crops, talking to farmers and artisans, and telling stories on local legends. Join us on our journey! Next up, Grandma Brown’s Baked Beans from Mexico, New York.
In Upstate NY, Grandma Brown’s Baked Beans are a summer staple. The perfect side dish to your hot dog or chicken, it’s almost an expectation! Grandma Brown’s offers original, no nonsense beans; try adding ketchup and mustard, some brown sugar, caramelized onions, and a splash of soy sauce. That’s all it takes to experience the quality of these Oswego County gems.
Grandma Brown’s came about during the Great Depression when Lulu Brown began making large pans of baked beans and selling them in grocery stores. People loved them! So Lulu’s husband, Earl, and her son, Robert, decided to sell them in Oswego NY. Shortly after their start, Earl died, and Robert Whitley joined the company, which became known as Brown-Whitney-Brown, or BWB for short. BWB continued to grow, and soon required a plant where they could process and can the beans.
Grandma Brown’s operates the old-fashioned way. They still use the same logo from 1955, featuring an image of Grandma Brown and her red casserole loaded with beans. They also have no social media profiles and rely solely on word of mouth advertising. With that being said, Grandma Brown has become such a staple in our region that bean lovers talking about them is all they need to thrive. That’s what makes them a local legend! For us, our summer just isn’t summer without enjoying plenty of Grandma Brown’s.
Stop by your local Price Chopper/Market 32 for your Grandma Brown’s Baked Beans or shop with us online!
Local Legends: Halfmoon Cookies
We’re rockin’ the support for local growers and producers this summer! We’ll be touring our Northeast region, highlighting local products and crops, talking to farmers and artisans, and telling stories on local legends. Join us on our journey! Next up, Halfmoon Cookies made by Hemstrought’s Bakeries in Utica, New York.
In 1920, the very first Halfmoon Cookie recipe was created by Harry B. Hemstrought. He put it together right on Genesee St. in Utica, NY. Since then, the famous recipe has been passed down from baker to baker at Hemstrought’s. The cookies have won the hearts of many, with a fluffy, cake-like bottom, topped perfectly with one half chocolate fudge and the other buttercream frosting. Halfmoons are truly the pinnacle of dessert.
Fast forward to 2020 and Halfmoons have withstood the test of time. 100 years later and the recipe has not gone through a single modification. Everything about the cookies remain original and authentic. However, some have attempted to imitate the highly sought-after recipe, like with “black and whites,” commonly found in New York City. But if you ask the folks at Hemstrought’s, Halfmoons remain in a class of their own.
Halfmoon Cookies are truly one of the Northeast’s finest treasures. We love partnering with Hemstrought’s Bakeries and having their amazing treats right in our own neighborhood. If you haven’t had the pleasure, we recommend giving one of these cookies a try as soon as possible!
Local Legends: Marshmallow Fluff
We’re rockin’ the support for local growers and producers this summer! We’ll be touring our Northeast region, highlighting local products and crops, talking to farmers and artisans, and telling stories on local legends. Join us on our journey! Next up, Marshmallow Fluff made in Lynn, Massachusetts.
In 1920, H. Allen Durkee and Fred L. Mower, both veterans of the United States Infantry in World War I, had teamed up to create Marshmallow Fluff. They started out making candies together, but eventually jumped on the idea of Fluff. They started out cooking their product at night and selling it door to door during the day.
After a productive decade, in 1930, Durkee himself stated “Ten years ago we started out with one barrel of sugar, a few tin cans, two spoons, one secondhand Ford, and no customers, but plenty of prospects. Today we have thru the fine cooperation of the wholesale grocers, the largest distribution of marshmallow cream in New England, and no Ford.”
Since their humble beginnings, Durkee-Mower has turned Marshmallow Fluff into a Northeast region staple. But it doesn’t stop there. Fluff is available all across the world in Canada, the UK, France, Germany, Israel, South Africa, Belgium, and more. Of course, Fluff has made its way throughout the United States as well.
Marshmallow is a versatile treat and can be used in tons of recipes. If this blog made you hungry we suggest making the classic Fluffernutter. Commonly enjoyed on playgrounds, after school, and in college dorms alike, the dish is simply Marshmallow Fluff and peanut butter mixed between two slices of bread. It’s a timeless treat for all ages. Our PICS Peanut Butter is an all-star companion in this sandwich!
Marshmallow Fluff is a legend of our region and we’re proud to offer it in our stores. Visit your local store or shop with us online for Marshmallow Fluff. In the meantime, we’re off to make some Fluffernutters.
Local Legends: Ken's Steak House
We’re rockin’ the support for local growers and producers this summer! We’ll be touring our Northeast region, highlighting local products and crops, talking to farmers and artisans, and telling stories on local legends. Join us on our journey! First up, Ken’s Steak House in Framingham, MA.
Ken’s has a rich history in our area and we’re proud to partner with them in our grocery department. They provide us with a number of items including dressings, sauces, and marinades. All homegrown and all delicious!
The story begins in 1935 when Ken and Florence Hanna opened a small restaurant called Lakeside Cafe. It wasn’t long before regular patrons began referring to the place as “Ken’s” in association with its owner. Five years later, Ken had a vision, he purchased tiny McHale’s Diner on what was then a desolate Route 9, known as “Starvation Alley.” Despite its lack of success, Ken had plans to make the area prominent. Magically, Ken’s Steak House is still there today, and Route 9 has become a top retail destination in the US.
When it came to Ken’s Steak House, Ken and Florence had a straightforward strategy, serve quality food at a reasonable price, along with an honest drink and a good cup of coffee to accompany it. On top of that, the Hannas made sure all diners received courtesy, attentiveness, and efficiency from the staff. The service and food were always great, but it was Florence’s salad dressings that shined. Each dressing was made under the instructions of her recipes, all while she kept a watchful eye of the process. Ken’s salads became famous and played a large role in the growth of the business.
Over the years, many family members have carried on the tradition of working at the restaurant. Currently, Ken’s Steak House is operated by Ken’s son Timothy and his wife Darlene. As time has passed, the restaurant has served famous entertainers, athletes, and successful political and business leaders. However, it might be the spirit by which Ken’s treats every customer like a celebrity that keeps people coming back.