ROTTERDAM: Chamber has 'good news' for local business

The Schenectady County Chamber of Commerce is giving Good News Awards to local businesses that wouldn't normally receive accolades.

The award recognizes organizations within the county that have experienced exceptional growth; survived economic ups and downs; are celebrating a significant anniversary; or are just a success story.

"We just wanted to celebrate the stories in our community that are a neat, feel-good thing. Nothing that would normally get accolades, but good news and a nice launch to spring," said Robin Granger, the chamber's vice president of communications and member relations.

Two Rotterdam businesses will be honored this year: Gabriel's Super Market and Tops American Grill Bakery and Bar.

Gabriel's Super Market has two stores, one on Curry Road in Rotterdam and one in Scotia. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the chain.

"That kind of longevity is great to hear about in a small business like that, especially when there is so much competition from big-box stores," Granger said.

Jeffrey Gabriele and his brother Rudy Gabriele Jr. own the stores. Their grandfather first opened the flagship Rotterdam store in 1956.

"The stores sell very high-quality perishable meat, deli, produce and bakery items. We sell certified Angus beef, nothing but the highest quality and that is sort of our niche," Jeffery Gabriele said.

He said the support from the community, his regular customers and an excellent staff is what has allowed his store to survive.

"It's not like we've just been lucky and everything is roses. You have to work every day. We have the right combination of what makes it tick, and that part we're lucky at," Gabriele said.

Granger said the Chamber wanted to recognize the owners of Tops American Grill Bakery and Bar for the incredible investment they have put into the establishment.

"After being there for three generations, they could have moved somewhere else, but they made a state-of-the-art facility, and we are proud they invested back into the community," Granger said.

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