A small, neighborhood grocery store in Guilderland is closing, though it’s unclear for how long.
Greulich’s Market announced on its Facebook page Friday that it’s closing “for a little while,” but added that it hopes to reopen. Store employees told customers Friday that the store was closing. A big sign on the front door advertised all merchandise at half off, prompting regular customers to stock up on as many groceries as they could get. The shelves emptied quickly and the store was half empty by early Friday afternoon.
“We don’t even know what’s going on,” said one of two store employees working Friday. “No one has told us anything.”
They directed further comment to owner Bonnie Greulich, who was not in the store Friday afternoon and could not be reached for comment.
That confusion was passed on to shoppers, who said they were informed the store would be closing, but no one could tell them exactly when or why.
“My guess is soon, because the place is practically empty already,” said one woman, who declined to give her name as she loaded groceries into her car.
The small market at 3403 Carman Road, just over the Schenectady County line in Guilderland, has been a community institution since 1950. Edna Greulich and her husband Arthur started their store in 1949, opening first on Broadway in Schenectady.
“Right in the middle of the hill,” Edna told The Daily Gazette in 1988.
They moved to a building on Carman Road in 1950, but the construction of the New York State Thruway forced the Greulichs to move once again and in 1953 they opened at their current site.
Passersby know the store for the brown and white cow adorning its roof. The 125-pound fiberglass mascot has been stolen several times.
Customers know the store for what the mascot represents: Greulich’s meat department. Arthur Greulich was a meat cutter from Germany and built the business on the meat department. For locals, Greulich’s is synonymous with hand-cut beef, poultry and pork, homemade sausages and personalized service from a butcher. Its produce is also a favorite.
In recent years, though, small and large grocers alike have faced intense competition from the influx of new grocery options into the Capital Region.
On Wednesday, a post on Greulich’s Facebook page asked readers what they would like to see in the store to keep customers coming in.
The property owes $15,240 in back taxes, county and town officials said Friday.