CANTON — A new Save-A-Lot grocery store in the University Plaza, Route 11, is tentatively scheduled to open in early September, providing another choice for consumers and about 20 jobs to the community.
Owner Jeffrey L. Proulx, a Canton native, said the 18,000-square-foot store will be similar to the seven other stores he operates in Ogdensburg, Potsdam, Gouverneur, Tupper Lake, Hornell, Bath and Norwich.
“It will be about the same size as our Ogdensburg store, which is about 1,000 feet bigger than the Potsdam store,” Mr. Proulx said.
The plaza space that will be filled by the new grocery store previously housed the Canton Flea Market.
Mr. Proulx said Nancy Hastings-Bristol now manages his Potsdam store and will move into that position at the Canton store. Rob Andrus has been hired to manage the Potsdam store after the transition.
The floors will be installed with a metal epoxy material that provides a more upscale look that’s easier to maintain than traditional store flooring, he said. All of the retail cases in the Canton store will have LED lighting.
While other grocery chains may offer a wider selection of brands, Mr. Proulx said, the Save-A-Lot company focuses on providing quality food at discount prices, particularly meat, produce and other basic food items.
“Our format is pared down to old-fashioned meat and potatoes,” Mr. Proulx said.
“We’re going to offer the lowest price at the best quality.”
The Save-A-Lot stores do not have separate delis or bakeries, which are features some competitors offer, such as the Canton Price Chopper, on Route 11 a few hundred yards from University Plaza.
The Canton community has had just one full-sized grocery store since 2000, when Jubilee closed in the Midtown Plaza, Miner Street. That store was operated by Mr. Proulx, who has been encouraged for years to return a store to his hometown.
Regarding shopping patterns, Mr. Proulx said a lack of choices in Canton has resulted in many community members driving elsewhere to shop in recent years.
It’s a trend he would like to help reverse.
“Canton has had a tremendous amount of leakage,” Mr. Proulx said. “I’m hoping people who have been driving to other towns will have more reasons to stay in Canton. I think people are going to be really happy to have a choice.”
Mr. Proulx also has his corporate office on Park Street and said he has an emotional tie to the Canton community.
Construction crews are in the process of installing refrigeration pipes and other interior work. The Save-A-Lot space is between Dollar General and Dollar Tree, which are both discount stores that sell general merchandise.
Mr. Proulx opened his Save-A-Lot store in Bath last year, and the Norwich store opened May 23.
A grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Canton store will be held when a definite opening date is scheduled, he said.
“There is a trigger moment in our construction process when we can pinpoint the date. We’re not there yet,” Mr. Proulx said.