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Ticonderoga searches for grocery alternative

TICONDEROGA - Ticonderoga officials are hoping to attract a super market to the community, although they're learning it's no easy task.

Ti Supervisor Deb Malaney recently said she has been in contact with several grocery store chains without success.

"They always say the same thing," she said. "They don't want to go up against a big box store with a super market in it. That doesn't mean we can't and won't continue trying."

Malaney declined to name Wal-Mart as the "big box store," but it's the only one in the community that sells groceries.

At one time Ticonderoga had three grocery stores. It had two - Grand Union and Great American - when Wal-Mart moved into the community a decade ago. Now, Ticonderoga residents shop for groceries at Wal-Mart or shop out of town.

Many local residents want an option other than Wal-Mart and have asked local officials to bring in another store to compete.

Malaney said she has engaged Aldi and Price Chopper in talks, noting the former Grand Union and former Great American buildings are both available for a new super market.

"I've spoken to both, but I haven't gotten any return calls," Malaney said. "Aldi said it generally is only interested in communities of 15,000 (people) or more."

Malaney has also spoken to the Middlebury Natural Foods Co-op about the possibility of opening a satellite store in Ticonderoga.

The Middlebury co-op has existed since the early 1970s. The group formed a board of directors and incorporated as a business on June 2, 1976. In 1984 the co-op expanded and doubled its retail space. In 2004 growth again necessitated an expansion. A new store was opened at 9 Washington St. The retail space doubled and a kitchen was added so the co-op could offer prepared foods and a deli.

The Middlebury co-op offers a full line of grocery items, including locally-produced items.

"I'd like to see a co-op store," Malaney said. "If not the Middlebury co-op, something like it. We're investigating it."

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