By Seth Rogovoy
(HUDSON, N.Y., June 2, 2014) – This morning I spotted a flyer posted in the window of 323 Warren Street – just to the east of the Red Dot – that reads: “Opening Soon: Talbott & Arding Cheese and Provisions – Good Value – Honest Food – Friendly Service.” Apparently a Facebook page was established for the market this past April 5.
Coming just a few days after the signs touting the arrival of Citarella Gourmet Market in the “Arcade” building at the corner of Warren and Fifth – signs that are still up, although their authenticity has yet to be vouched for – and in light of the ongoing project to turn the former Ackerman’s building at Warren and Eighth into a Guido’s-style market, the ongoing efforts to bring a Hawthorne Valley Farm Store to town, and with the already well-established Olde Hudson doing business here in town, one wonders if Hudson’s next big wave will be gourmet food markets.
First it was antiques dealers, then art galleries, then restaurants – do foodies follow?
Some look askance at this possible development, for various reasons, not all of which I understand. Certainly Hudson could use at least if not more full-service grocery stores for the inhabitants of the city, who otherwise need to drive or take taxis to Greenport to shop at commercial supermarkets.
But a wave of foodie markets doesn’t preclude that in any way.
The other objection might possibly be, especially in the case of Citarella, that such competition could be the undoing of already established businesses such as Olde Hudson. But just as likely, a critical mass of markets appealing to upscale foodie types – of which there are likely many of among the weekender population in town – could make Hudson more appealing as a destination, in the same way it has become for antiquers, gallery-hoppers, and diners.
A little competition could be good, and each market could define its own niche. Dena Moran of Olde Hudson has already done a terrific job of turning her shop into a kind of gallery for foodies. She acts as a curator of fine cheeses, meats, baked goods, specialty items, desserts, produce, canned goods, local dairy, and gift items. I, for one, am confident that Olde Hudson can hold its own in a growing market for gourmet food items. And with more such stores spread around town, weekenders may be less inclined to stock up at home and bring their food with them, and more likely to hit Warren Street for provisions when they arrive in town, knowing there is a wealth of attractive food and beverage items available.
Warren Street will also become more of a destination for such high-end food shopping from residents and weekenders in surrounding towns in Columbia and Greene counties.
I say, let a thousand foodie markets bloom.
And yes, let’s also see markets in town serving a non-foodie population with wholesome food items and groceries, taking business away from the unpleasant chain stores in Greenport.