Checking out the new "green" Price Chopper

green chopper

That's green as in eco-friendly. The outside is actually sort of a tan color.

The new "green" Price Chopper officially opened today in Colonie. The Golub Corporation is touting the location as "the most advanced Green Store in the entire Capital Region."

OK, consider us interested. So we checked it out.

green chopper aisle

The store has a lot of what you'd expect from a typical modern supermarket -- it's not going to blow your grocery shopping mind or anything. But there were a few things we noticed on our first swing through the store today.

The natural light
There are skylights all over the store and it really makes a difference. This might be the brightest supermarket we've ever shopped in -- and the natural light is a lot nicer than the standard fluorescent glare.

Wide aisles
As nice as some of the other Choppers are, some of them have aisles that feel really cramped (Slingerlands, we're looking at you). Not this store. The aisles feel absolutely spacious -- some were at least 10 feet wide.

green chopper kosher

The kosher section
This new store is a replacement for the old "kosher" Chopper that sits directly across the parking lot. So it makes sense that it has a large kosher section. Still, it's a big section -- almost the entire right end of the store is devoted to kosher and culturally-Jewish products. We counted about 20 shelf-feet dedicated just to blintzes.

The refrigerated cases
There are still quite a few of the open refrigerated cases in this store, but there are also aisle after aisle of the closed cases with a swing-open door -- for everything from beer to eggs. These cases are are part of the "green store" design -- they're much more energy efficient.

The checkouts
One thing we were surprised to see: no self-serve checkouts. Instead, there were four "mini-checkouts" that sort of looked like the checkout counter at a convenience store.

green chopper parking

Green in small ways
Price Chopper is hoping this new store will qualify for second-highest LEED certification -- making it only the third building in this area to score that high on the "green" scale. And to that end they've done a lot of big things -- powering the store in part with a fuel cell, all the skylights -- but also some small things, too. For example: the display cases have sensors that turn their lights on/off depending on whether people are walking the aisle. And there are spots up close to the building for "fuel efficient vehicles."

All in all, the store was nice -- just as you'd expect a brand-new modern supermarket to be. And the "green" elements seemed to be smoothly integrated into the design (probably just as they should be). We really like all the natural light.

There were a bunch of people at today's grand opening. And plenty of staff to handle the crowd, including a girl in a prom dress and these guys:

green chopper lobster bobby

We asked the guy in the bobby costume why he was dressed up like that. He said he wasn't sure. Then he handed us a packet of info and flyers for the new store.

Find It

The "green" Price Chopper
1892 Central Ave
Colonie, NY 12205

The store's hard to see from Central. It's on the left-hand side if you're heading away from Albany -- behind the KMart.


Spots reserved for fuel effiecient cars (can't wait to accidentally take up two of these spots). Another ridiculous step into the hands of overboard enviro wackos who continue to get their way on questionable science. Make sure you thank them next time your at the pump, being all drilling initiatives started last year have been stopped/delayed.

My two year old and I braved the new store this morning.

Two bad things:
+ It was crowded. There were a good number of shoppers, but at least they were shuffling along. For some reason there must have been about a hundred Price Chopper execs in suits, hanging around at the end of each aisle, looking awkward and not moving.
+ What was up with that big red lobster, hanging around in the parking lot? Was there a furry convention in town? My kidlet got one look at the guy in the costume and FREAKED OUT. (Apparently we both have the same aversion to treif?)

The awesome:
+ The lighting in the store was wonderful. It wasn't dank and dreary -- it felt like sunshine.
+ HUGE kosher department. While we don't keep strictly kosher, the markings make it so easy for this vegetarian to shop. There's nothing worse than discovering your chocolate chip cookies have been harboring pig fat.

Editors: we added the link to Abby's comment.

Enjoy your moment nyny, because as far as I can tell a Price Chopper lot is private property and they can reserve the right to tow your car if it's improperly parked... but I'm sure your noble protest will be duly noted.

It's still no Wegman's.

lol, remember this? thaaannnks!

So the fuel efficient cars get to park closer and the less efficient ones park further away? How is that helping make things green?

Other than encouraging lazy people to buy more fuel efficient cars of course.

And what defines a 'Fuel Efficient Car' for parking purposes? 30+mpg? Hybrid? FlexFuel? There's an idea! I could park my FlexFuel truck there...if the space was big enough. :)

I passed the new Price Chopper yesterday around 6pm and it looked like people were protesting by the entrance. They had these little blue signs that looked like campaign signs but the only words I saw were "Price Chopper." Maybe they were promoting the new store not protesting as I thought? Anyone else see this?

And yet you must drive to get to the "green" store.

Correct, Miss Ida! It still is no Wegmans. Still waiting for one. And a Tim Horton's too.

Julia Thorne makes a tremendous point. An even greener Price Chopper would be if Golub renovated the sad, sorry ghetto choppers in our downtown neighborhoods.

You're right NyNy. Drill baby drill, right? While we're at it, why don't we throw all the garbage we want out our windows, burn down all the trees and make free gasoline flow through the streets like the sewers of ancient Rome -- there's surely enough of it. And when you and your great-grandkids can't breathe from asthma and are dying of cancer, and when the gas runs out because I want to drive an SUV that gets 5 mpg NOW because dammit, I want to drive a several-ton weapon and crowd out pedstrians, bicylcists and the sun because it's my right, when all that happens, well, then I'll try to thank the enviros at that point if I can breathe from all the pollution, OK? What the hell is wrong with trying to make the world a better place for everyone?

Now that that's out of my system, let me take the other approach -- you mean there's a serviceable Price Chopper next door? Isn't there a saying that the greenest building is an existing building? Where is all the construction & demolition material from the old building going to go? Or is it going to just sit there vacant and rotting away in sprawl-ville?

The parking for fuel efficient vehicles is part of LEED certification, so if that is one of the store's goals, it is an easy way for them to get LEED points.

So is having public transportation nearby, and the article in the TU (linked from AOA yesterday, I think) mentioned the store was trying to do this. Rt 5 is a main bus line, so it shouldn't be that hard.

Side note, I used to work for UTC Power, who provided the fuel cell for this store. Yay!

Ed stole the words right outta my mouth...

Re: kmg - Tim Horton's! If only. I'd give anything to have some Timbits and a maple cream donut right now. Instead, I must put up with the mockery from my Michigan and Rhode Island friends who munch on such delicacies freely while I must make due with non-maple varieties of tasty treats. **SOB**

@Emma I saw the same protest out on Central. Seemed construction was accomplished without the help of the local contractors and they weren't happy.

RE: Beaver,
Your absurd comments speak for themselves. Yes, my pointing out drilling (which just beginning to explore for oil helped bring prices down last year) means I stand for everything you sarcastically wrote about. Glad you drink the kool-aid without questioning anything. Your viewpoints are radical (SUV- several ton weapon -more people die from accidents in those rinky-dink cars Obama and Biden are now building) and like most radicals anyone with a different outlook is wrong and demonized. Do some of your own thinking for once.

@Brian Thanks! I'm glad someone else saw it.

@ NyNy: What the hell is wrong with encouraging people to drive more fuel efficient cars, even if the encouragement is something as seemingly goofy (and admittedly, probably insignificant) as reserved parking spaces? Even if you don't believe in global warming (or dinosaurs for that matter), can't we agree that pollution, in and of itself, is bad?

And any car is a weapon -- put a car or an SUV up against a pedestrian or bicyclist or a guy picking up trash on the shoulder and tell me who's going to win? There's far too many irresponsible drivers out there who think the road is their's and their's alone.

P.S. I was more of a Hi-C kind of person.

Once I realized that nyny was actually serious, this stopped being funny and started being sad. Well, okay, it's still a little funny. But mostly sad.

The real question is why have there been this many comments & no mention of the kid handing out flyers? He "isn't sure" why he's dressed as a bobby. How fantastic is that? I hope he at least made a nervous laugh before he said that. It's like Albany's own Michael Cera.

@Ed, YES!!! Going to the Ghetto Chopper is such a miserable experience that my husband and I would rather drive all the way to the Hannaford on Central. It would be really, really great to not feel the need to do that anymore.

@Beaver I too have wondered at tearing the old place down (or in this case just building a NEW place entirely) being acceptable for LEED certification. Creo tore down what appeared to be a perfectly good building and got LEED certification. I was told that all demolition debris was recycled and the new place was far more energy efficient than the old place ever could have been...but still, it seems odd to me. I think LEED should subtract points if you abandon/demolish an existing building.

We recently bought a house and we decided to keep the disgusting carpet upstairs. It seemed wasteful to dispose of it when it is still fine, if a bit dingy.

When the Golub's store was feeling old and tired, they built a whole new one?

Kudos to LEED for inspiring people to green their businesses. But that program needs some work.

@ Bob F.: I'm with you on the subtracting of points, but I admit, I have no idea how LEED is scored or any of that stuff -- just wondering about the main point of building a new structure in conjunction with tearing down an old one being an entirely 100% "green" concept. Smarter minds than mine measure LEED scoring -- perhaps, in a case like Creo's where the debris was apparently recycled, they could lose fewer points than if all the old stuff was merely landfilled (if that's how they even measure LEED certification -- I don't know).

I just had to mention the variety this PC had...I don't know of any other chain grocery stores in our area that carry Boars head brand meat, cheese and condiments, etc. I always found a close by specialty store to get these things, such as a butcher shop or small meat market.. Its nice to see this brand easily available! If you haven't tried boars head cold cuts, give it a try! Good stuff.

I did read a flyer they had posted at the new PC and they mentioned that they made the "decision" to carry boars head products at Price chopper. I wouldn't be surprised if the other PCs start making the change as well.

I'm not sure what is meant by "ghetto chopper"? The Westgate Price Chopper is a favorite place for me to shop. The people there are very friendly and it usually has a wide variety of fresh produce. In this way, people with lower income now have good food available, like the food available for those who live in the more affluent neighborhoods. I also love their international section! Here I can find ethnic products I can not find at any other big chain grocery store.

They also keep their restrooms clean.

Rob, the Ghetto Chopper is the one on Delaware Ave, near Center Square. It's cramped, often dirty, usually has poor produce, has bizarre selection, and staff is lackadaisical at best.

However, I don't mind shopping there as much as some seem to, especially since the meat section is fabulous... where else can you get squid tubes, beef neckbone (!), marrow bones (!!), and pork tails (!!!) all in one place? Well, sometimes. If they only had sweetbreads, I'd be in some kind of offal heaven, you know, an afterlife where animals constantly thank you for eating all of them.

B, I'm with you on the offal. I'm always amazed by the amount of honeycomb tripe there too.

However, I dislike having to put a giant sweatshirt on to go there in order to avoid catcalls (I wish I was kidding) and it worries me that they have to keep the baby formula under lock and key.

Sorry Jess, next time I'll just make it a friendly hello. And I really was just looking for the dairy section, I apologize for that misunderstanding.

Jess: I know it's a shock to see formula under lock and key, but it's pretty common. As I understand it's (mostly) not parents stealing formula for their baby, but a couple of forms of the illegal drug trade. Sometimes formula is used to cut certain drugs, and drugs are sometimes shipped, traded, and stored in the cans.

Re: Beaver,
I am all for improving the environment, and cleaning up pollution but to radically damage our economy, alter our lifestyle, and sign on to the propaganda that is out there (the dino shot was OK but there are as many scientists that believe that this is a cycle man has no influence over/ that believe it is caused by man).
The SUV/cars as a weapon thing still throws me, are you against cars or bad drivers (the way you made that statement I can't tell)? I think everybody is against bad drivers.

Finally I have to say it...Hi-C was great (even we have found common ground).

...and this has taken a turn to the surreal. Thanks NyNy, Comedy Central just hasn't been funny lately so I'm glad you stepped up to fill that gap. You should apply for an NEA grant, I think your comments could be considered absurdist performance art.

I'd like the old chopper back. This new store may be energy efficient but I can't find anything and it's always crowded. I'll have to drive elsewhere now.

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