SARATOGA COUNTY — A new gourmet marketplace. A downtown party shop in Saratoga Springs. A neighborhood deli family-operated for decades.
Three popular retail establishments announced imminent changes pending in their respective businesses with a potential of ramifications resulting for the people who patronize their stores.
Tailgate and Party Shop, Saratoga Springs
Kirsten Lambert purchased the building at the corner of Phila and Putnam Streets in spring 2021, relocating the Caroline and Henry Street-based Tailgate and Party Shop she first opened one year earlier. The new Phila Street location, since 1990, had previously housed Four Seasons Natural Foods.
Lambert, a near 30-year-teacher of sixth-grade students was looking for a business to operate during what she anticipated as her retirement years.
“It’s been a wonderful experience, but it’s just not ‘retirement.’ I found myself exhausted and not as retired as I thought I would be,” she says with a laugh. “We decided we really need to spin some things down in our lives. A need to really retire this time. It is time for me to pursue other retirement dreams.”
The role Retirement 2.0 will take for Lambert and her husband is in the form of a small animal rescue operation to potentially include retired racehorses.
The shop meanwhile will see new purpose.
“We have a lessee coming in who is going to do his own thing,” says Lambert. While not yet completed in scope, the new business operator has plans to install a bar along an upper section of the interior and a small convenience market style area on the lower section. Paper Dolls of Saratoga has expressed interest in taking over the party supply part of the business. Lambert will maintain ownership of the building.
“We will begin the closing process in September,” she says. “I’ll be putting things on sale, and we’ll be done by November first.”
The Tailgate and Party Shop was Lambert’s first real retail business.
“I started a party store. During COVID. And I had no idea what I was doing: genius!” she says with a laugh. “I thought: have a quiet, seasonal little place. Racetrack season, Christmas. It did very well, it became a year-round store and there never seemed to be an off-time. That’s what caught me off-guard.”
“I do think it’s absolutely wonderful that Saratoga has really become a year-round destination and my favorite thing about having the store is that it is a really happy place,” Lambert says of her go-to, one-stop-shop for all things celebration. “And meeting the other business owners. I really learned a lot and it has me understanding with compassion and empathy all these other industries.”
Cannone’s Deli, Wilton
“We were 28 when we got here and we’re like 67 now,” says Theresa Cannone, tracing a line back to the earliest days of the deli she and her husband John opened in 1984.
Things were different in Wilton then. “When we got here it was almost like a rural area. On Northern Pines Road, you had no traffic. Now there’s condos, houses, developments – it’s just booming,” she says. With the influx of population over the decades, business at Cannone’s Deli at 654 Saratoga Road is also booming.
A few months ago, the Cannones began thinking about retiring.
“It’s bittersweet and it’s kind of hard to leave, but it’s time. We worked seven days a week, ten hours a day for 39 years. We just need to relax for a little bit, enjoy our kids, enjoy our family,” Cannone says. “Our kids are really looking forward to us spending time with them. We’ve got five grandchildren - and one on the way in November!” she adds enthusiastically.
“The people and the community are wonderful. We built this corner back in ’89 – we had the deli for 10 years, sold it to Kelly’s Deli, we had the liquor store, the pizzeria - Christina’s Pizzeria, which we named after our daughter,” Cannone says. A handful of years ago they returned to operate the deli.
“That was five years ago in May. When we came back people showed up with flowers – I thought we had a funeral going on – they showed up with flowers and balloons, pictures and cards, and pa-pa-pa,” says Cannone, having left Deer Park, Long Island several decades ago to relocate upstate, but the accent not entirely having left her.
Sunday will be the Cannones’ last day of working at the deli, which they have sold to Matthew Sanchez. The deli business will continue into the future, Cannone says. “He is a good man for the job.”
PDT Market, Saratoga Springs
Less than six months after the high-profile unveiling of a new gourmet marketplace in downtown Saratoga Springs, Chef Adam Foti announced this week he will be leaving PDT Market.
"Just less than two years ago, my partners and I embarked on a great adventure. The goal was to transform my passion, PDT Catering, into a marketplace that would nourish the community with amazing, prepared foods, specialty products, and a variety of educational opportunities. From this vision, PDT Market was born,” Chef Foti explained on a social media posting.
Foti says he will fix his undivided focus on a return to PDT Catering, which will relaunch externally Sept. 1.
“The effort required to build and sustain PDT Market, and simultaneously keep PDT Catering functioning at the very high standards we set for ourselves, was not always compatible. Time spent on catering was time away from the market. Conversely, time spent focused on the market was time spent away from catering,” Foti says. “Each demand and deserve complete focus and attention.”
The market will also continue, presumably in the partners’ hands, and announced it will be sharing more information “over the next several weeks.” PDT Market did not immediately respond to a media inquiry regarding specific plans of the market going forward.
PDT Market is located on Railroad Place at 55 Railroad Place in a location that previously housed a Price Chopper market.
“It’s such a labor of love that I’m so passionate about, that it’s just so exciting to see everything here,” Foti told Saratoga TODAY in March as the signage went up inside the 19,000-square-foot PDT Market in preparation of the store’s opening. An opening celebration ribbon-cutting ceremony took place April 24.
“PDT Market will continue to grow, flourish, and perhaps, change in my absence,” Foti says. “Rest assured that as I leave, the market is in skillful hands. The team in place is one of the finest I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with.”