By CRAIG FREILICH
POTSDAM – Some things inside the Potsdam Big M have already started to change as the owners prepare to switch back to the IGA brand and make some improvements at the store.
Some IGA signs now hang inside the store at 27 Elm St., in advance of the official changeover on April 8.
Meanwhile work on the entrance to the store, including pouring some concrete, will be happening Wednesday, so they have to ask customers coming to the store that day to use the back entrance, at the rear of the parking lot.
Owners Chip and Lu Ann Cross, who bought the store and switched it from an IGA to a Big M in 2007, say changes in the industry in the region lead them to believe they will be getting better products at better prices from the IGA distributor, Connecticut-based Bozzuto’s, which supplies some 800 food retailers in the New England and Mid-Atlantic regions.
The current Big M supplier, C&S Wholesale Grocers out of New Hampshire, bought the Big M name and customer list in 2008 after the former Big M supplier, Penn Traffic, went out of business.
Potsdam store co-owner Chip Cross said he and his family have had a good business relationship with Bozzuto’s.
“We’ve been buying from Bozzuto’s all along. They have been a secondary supplier, and now will be our main supplier,” he said.
He said Bozzuto’s is a large family company, “and they care as much about their customers – us – as we care about ours.
“They supply more than just IGA stores. We’ll be getting improved prices, better quality, fewer out-of-stocks, fresher produce. Every department here will be getting three deliveries a week.”
The Crosses also say they are working to revamp their web site, which will soon have a “Shop to Cook” feature. It will have recipes and meal ideas with nutrition information, and will allow customers to compose a shopping list while online which they can then print out at the store.