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Ticonderoga businesses struggle with economy

Restaurants close; stores cut back

Two Brothers Meat Market owners, from left, Joe, Fred and Gary Namer remain optimistic about the future while their business struggles this winter.

Two Brothers Meat Market owners, from left, Joe, Fred and Gary Namer remain optimistic about the future while their business struggles this winter.

— “We still have a complete inventory,” he said. “We’re not going anywhere. We’re just taking a break.”

Two Brothers Meat Market is also taking a break, from making sandwiches and subs. The move comes months after the establishment cut its lunch service. The deli remains open to provide sliced cold cuts and the store continues to offer a full line of meats and groceries.

“We just weren’t selling enough subs to make it worthwhile,” Gary Namer said of the change. “We’ll reassess things in the spring.”

Two Brothers had three employees making sandwiches before cutting back Dec. 31. Those three full-time workers have been laid off.

“We held on as long as we could to get them (employees) through the holidays,” Namer said. “Our costs were increasing and the number of sub orders were declining. People are cutting back on spending. They aren’t buying as many subs.”

The meat market is also going to make other changes. A new, self-service meat cooler is being planned and new products are being considered.

“We hope to be back bigger and stronger than ever in the spring,” Namer said.

Joe Namer said the problem lies in stagnant wages for workers and the increasing cost of living.

“No one is making any more money, but everything costs more — food, heat, gas,” he said. “A jar of mayonnaise that used to cost us $10 is now $17. Everything costs us more, which means we need to raise prices — but our customers can’t afford any price increase.”

Customers, particularly local ones, are hard to come by these days, according to the Namer brothers. They estimate that only 40 percent of their business comes from Ticonderoga residents.

“We’d love to see more support from local people,” Joe Namer said, “but I understand that everyone has to save money where they can. If someone goes once a month to a BJ’s or Sam’s Club and buys their meats I can’t blame them. We can’t compete with someone who sells things by the thousands.”

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