A little over two weeks ago I was thrilled to receive an email inviting me to attend a Holiday Cheer Showcase hosted by the folks at Price Chopper, a local grocery company owned and operated by the Golub Family. If you live in the Upstate NY area, then you are very familiar with the local markets. There is probably one around the corner from you right now. But I bet you were not aware of how passionate this company is about bringing the best of the best to customers both in product and service. They are and they do.
This being the first invite to a local event, I was not sure what to expect, other than to arrive hungry. It seems the feeling was a common one as I mingled and chatted with roughly 30 local bloggers as we waited in the lobby of Price Chopper headquarters, located in Schenectady, NY.
The buzz of excitement grew as we entered a room filled with beautiful decorations and tables of eager faces ready to share new products and ideas. Bakery, Deli-including Boar’s Head products and Central Market (Price Chopper Brand)- soups, Cheese, Certified Angus Beef, Seafood, Produce, Floral and a table full of Gelato and Holiday Entertaining ideas.
For this Foodie, I was in heaven. I love to try and taste new things, especially when it involves entertaining. I enjoy an evening with family and friends gathered around the table or kitchen counter sharing good food and cheer. That is exactly what this afternoon was set up to present. It was a Showcase of all that is offered at your local store and how eager Price Chopper is to partner with you to make holiday entertaining is as easy as 1-2-3.
I will get to the fabulous food in a moment, but I wanted to first touch base on the opening presentation. After hearing a few welcome remarks, Jerry Golub, President, COO was introduced and he shared a few thoughts with the group. He really wanted to make a good impression with his audience. Jerry spoke of Price Chopper’s commitment to a main goal and that is “to service the needs of our customers.” Price Chopper is committed to bringing the best products and service to you and to me. That day I was a blogger learning more about a company, but I am a customer too and I was impressed with the sincerity in which they strive to make their goal happen.
I wish I could say that I made my way to every table, but unfortunately, I did not. I would have loved to learn more! When you see the following, you may understand why I was a little bit “stuck”.
I chatted with Jerry for a little bit and asked him what holiday item he was most excited about this year. He directed me straight to the Decadent Dessert station where I met Gretchen & Alyson. He is not a cake person, but “This cake? This cake I like. A. Lot.” Jerry shared with a smile as he pointed to the impressive Home For The Holidays Cake. Only available this holiday season, it has 11 layers of Red Velvet Cake, French Cheesecake with graham cracker and real whipped cream frosting. I do not like whipped cream frosting, but this was truly decadent. Want to impress guests? Show up with this and you most certainly will.
I also noticed on the table there were coffee cakes, fresh breads, fruit tarts and the most popular seller, Peanut Butter Pie. Did you know that over 60% of all the baked goods in EVERY STORE are made on premises? I didn’t either!
But you want to know what really stopped me in my tracks? Cannolis!
Moving on to the deli, I chatted with the representatives from Boar’s Head. They were a fun bunch and the spread they had available was top notch. A savory Baked Brie, which was TO-DIE for, a simple and delicious appetizer of Prosciutto ham wrapped around a Price Chopper Central Market Parmesan bread Stick. So simple and so good!
The show stopper at this table? Other than the Savory Brie, the Baked Ham. It was so incredible that I went back for seconds and asked how to make it.
Bake according to directions, adding about 10-15 minutes (at end of cooking) at 425 degrees to carmelize the topping.
Just past this station was my Kryptonite. The table was manned by the friendliest connoisseur of fromage. Yes, this was the cheese table and Chris Boyle soon became known as the “Cheese Man”. He was so knowledgeable to everyone’s palate that he chose a cheese you would enjoy.
I tend to like strong cheese and he shared the most delicious Gouda I have had. Old Dutch Aged Gouda. Look for it. It is so much better than smoked!
Chris also did a cheese board demonstration and as he worked his magic, told of Price Chopper’s passion for providing local farms in the selections offered. They want local, local, local! If you know of a small farm that is looking to share their product, let Price Chopper know! They would love to showcase it!
The afternoon flew by with so much information and good cheer. I was very impressed with everything!
I left the afternoon saying to my friends “I wish everyone could see how much they love what they do. I feel proud to be a shopper of Price Chopper products.” I know it sounds corny…but I really did say that. I am a true foodie and when I am in a room full of people that share that passion for good food, it doesn’t get any better than that.
I made my way to my local store this past week to get a jump start on Thanksgiving. I know I will be back again soon because holiday entertaining is just beginning!