SARATOGA SPRINGS – For chef Adam Foti, life is about food and the experience that comes with it.
So, when he decided to build the 19,000-square foot PDT Market in the heart of downtown Saratoga Springs, which opens in anywhere from a week to 10 days, Foti wanted to ensure the space he brought people into provided a place for people to eat, shop and learn.
“I’m sort of forever learning, so if I don’t learn something every day I kind of failed myself in some way,” he said.
He said it could be as simple as learning a new recipe, or reading about something new.
“I like to sort of bring that to people,” Foti said.
@dgazette Biz Beat: Eat, shop, learn at PDT Market in Saratoga Springs – 3/11/23 – More at DailyGazette.com – Daily Gazette
PDT is short for “Pomme de Terre,” which means “apple of the earth” in Old French — and is the modern French phrase for “potato.” The market is located at 55 Railroad Place, inside the former Price Chopper at the site.
The renovated space has been opened up to bring in light and a new atmosphere.
“One of the places I like to go is Barcelona and there’s a street called Las Ramblas, which has this great market,” he said.
That market inspired some of the layout of the store. At that market there’s fresh produce all around, and such items as a pig’s head might even be found on sale. While you might not find the pig head at PDT the ambiance of the Barcelona market is felt, with similar shades of Paris or Manhattan.
“When we got in here from the middle part down were all black latex slips on the windows there and it was one of the first things we did was clear all that stuff away and let the light in, let people in,” he said.
The market mixes old and new pieces, like an old barn doorway from the 1800s, or a cart from the 1800s that holds tulips, against fresh bright colors like a pink plush sofa, or a bar that’s reminiscent of Foti’s time spent in Paris.
“All of those things to me make it cozy and homey,” he said.
The food, as much as the decor, makes a person want to travel through the market, checking out the range of products from well-known brands like Hellman’s to specialty items like truffles or dressings made in France.
What also sets the market apart from others, Foti said during a tour of the market Friday, is that their produce tends to be up to two weeks fresher than grocery stores.
“We’re buying these items from a primary source, through a distributor, right to us, where a normal grocery store goes into a warehouse, sits in a warehouse for a week or so and then gets in here,” he said.
Foti said his goal with the market was to also help people relax a bit when it came to cooking by enabling them to buy already-made items like chicken salad, or order ahead for items like penne vodka. For those wanting to grab a bite to eat, the space offers plenty of it.
The market offers a limited a la carte menu from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Then from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. people can order small plates. There is also brunch on the weekends and a full-service bar.
If you love to cook, like Foti does, then the market has a small kitchen where people participate in classes.
Some of the classes being offered include Pasta 101, where participants learn to make fresh egg pasta and two sauces or Dim Sum 101, where people learn to make Asian-inspired small plates.
Foti received a culinary degree at SUNY Schenectady, where he is currently an adjunct professor. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from SUNY Delhi, according to the market’s website. He has also received various awards over the years including the The American Culinary Federation and the Societe Culinaire Philanthropique.
People can also host private events at the facility.
While everything is coming together for the grand opening, it hasn’t been without its challenges. Foti said the delays in getting items put the opening behind anywhere from three to six months.
“That had mostly to do with heavy equipment,” he said. “So all of the heavy equipment for refrigeration we had to buy this custom.”
That was supposed to arrive in October or November but didn’t get to the store until late December and early January.
He said there were also other items like glass for the deli counters that were behind schedule due to COVID.
But, with opening day right around the corner, Foti is excited to see his dream come true.
“I’m beyond excited,” he said. “Every molecule in my body is super excited about this.”
As Foti prepares to open his doors in Saratoga Springs he’s also thinking about the future.
“I can honestly see this being something that is all over the United States,” he said.