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Supermarket has reason to celebrate

Seventy-five is a good milestone to celebrate, especially when you're a locally owned company with sales topping $3 billion and more than 24,000 employees.

Price Chopper's 75th anniversary events ran from September through November, with a Founder's Day celebration held Saturday, Nov. 17, at the Slingerlands store where the new Ben and Bill's New York Deli is featured. At the event, members of the Golub family shared memories as customers sampled sandwiches and listened to the music of Skip Parson's Clarinet Marmalade band.

Price Chopper was founded by Russian immigrant Lewis Golub under the Golub Wholesale name before becoming the Public Service Market in Green Island in 1932 with Ben and Bill Golub at the helm. The Golub brothers opened several more stores, eventually moving the headquarters to Schenectady and changing the name to Central Market, followed by another name change -- Price Chopper -- in 1973.

It's one of the very few American-managed family food supermarkets in the industry, said Mona Golub, vice-president of public relations and consumer service.

Neil and Lewis Golub now oversee the family-owned grocery chain, which has 116 stores in six states, with Jerry, David, Jane, and Mona Golub all working under the family management structure.

"We are still hands on and very passionate about the business," Mona Golub said.

"I support the company and am proud to be a part of it," said Angelo Graziane, a 41-year employee who worked his way up the ranks from a night clerk at the old Curry Road, Schenectady, store to regional vice president before retiring last year.

"My brother got me involved in Price Chopper, and he has been with them 51 years," Graziane said.

Graziane is referred to as Mr. Price Chopper in his neighborhood and said he believes it's a company where "hard-working people get promoted."

"Every associate in that store is part of the company, and they contribute," Graziane said.

Price Chopper has donated to more than 10,000 charities and philanthropic organizations over the years, from First Night to Red Cross disaster relief.

The company is also looking toward the future with a major expansion planned that will include several new stores and the construction of a six-story, 240,000-square-foot-corporate office in downtown Schenectady.

"The future is bright for this company," said Golub. "We are healthy, and we are growing.""

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