GLENS FALLS — The grand opening of Park & Elm, a new downtown gourmet food market, bakery and deli, has been packed Saturday since the doors opened at 7 a.m.
Ben Miller, operations manager, was serving samples to customers milling around just before his noon speech.
“This has been a long time coming for us, around two years, and we are very excited to share this part of our project and this new branch of our hospitality group with the community,” Miller began. “I, as a Glens Falls resident, felt very passionately that the community needed this.”
The soon-to-open market and restaurant space serves as an expansion to the nearby Doc’s Restaurant and Park Theater, which are owned by Ben and his mother, Elizabeth Miller.
After finding success at Doc’s Restaurant, the Millers decided to expand their operations to more than just serving food. The new market offers customers a selection of meats and products from local farms and homemade products.
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“We have been fully booked since we opened and we are overwhelmed with the support we have received from the community,” said Ben Miller.
He also said they have plans to add more products in the coming weeks and add a second deli stop to reduce waiting time in line.
Jeff Flagg, director of economic development for Glens Falls, praised the work of the Miller family and thanked them for joining the “Glens Falls renaissance.”
“Over the last decade and a half, we’ve done a lot to encourage businesses to move into the downtown area, and more importantly, encourage people to come live in the downtown area” said Flagg.
“The city has been very keen to do as much as possible to try to maintain the integrity and character of the community, while also bringing the vitality that we have from people like Elizabeth and Ben who have done an enormous amount of work to bring local developers and local entrepreneurs who want to invest local dollars in local businesses to buy local products for local consumers,” he added.
EDC Warren County President Jim Siplon also spoke about the Millers’ work on Saturday.
“This is literally one of the best days in Glens Falls. I remember coming here almost 10 years ago and being the first resident to live above the bar that is now Morgan & Co. and I desperately needed this place,” Siplon said. The fact that the Millers, particularly Ben and his wife, have thrown themselves into this project. They came back to help us make this place the place it can be.”
He went on to say that Ben and his wife, Anita MacDonald, are not just entrepreneurs, but “a lens for what the future is here.”
Glens Falls Mayor Bill Collins, Fifth District Supervisor Ben Driscoll and Assemblywoman Carrie Woerner, D-Round Lake also attended the grand opening.
The restaurant is expected to open in December.
Jana DeCamilla is a staff writer covering Moreau, Queensbury, Warren County and Lake George. You can reach her at 518-903-9937 or [email protected]