Jump to the main section.

fort_orange_general_store_Outside_of_Fort_Orange_General_Store.jpg

fort_orange_general_store_Katy_Smith_and_Caroline_Corrigan.jpg

fort_orange_general_store_Some_of_the_greeting_cards.jpg

fort_orange_general_store_Merch_in_Fort_Orange.jpg

fort_orange_general_store_Fancy_body_stuff.jpg

fort_orange_general_store_Inside_Fort_Orange.jpg

fort_orange_general_store_Even_more_stuff_Fort_Orange.jpg

fort_orange_general_store_More_merch_in_Fort_Orange.jpg

fort_orange_general_store_More_Stuff_Fort_Orange.jpg

fort_orange_general_store_You_take_Brooklyn_Pins.jpg

Fort Orange General Store

fort orange general store composite

By Lauren Hittinger

Friends Caroline Corrigan and Katy Smith planned for years to open a business in downtown Albany. They had a couple different ideas -- including an urban grocery. But they ultimately ended up in the Delaware Ave neighborhood with a modern home goods shop: Fort Orange General Store. It's grand opening is today.

"We wanted to open something that was needed in the neighborhood it was in, and we thought about what Albany still doesn't have," Corrigan said. "Since we are connected to the art community, and both of us make stuff, this made sense."

There are large-format photos above -- click or scroll all the way up.


Katy Smith and Caroline Corrigan

Both lovers of Albany, Corrigan and Smith were willing to consider multiple locations for this business. "We had talked about business ideas that would work for the Lark Street neighborhood initially, but when we saw the space open up on Delaware, we jumped at the chance. The proximity to the Spectrum and New World Bistro was a safe bet for lots of foot traffic."

What was it about the Delaware Ave neighborhood specifically? Said Corrigan: "This neighborhood has a really great mix of cultures, ages, income levels and types of businesses, all working together. We're happy to be part of it. The neighborhood has been very welcoming to us. In general, it's a strong community that is very supportive of small business and neighbors drop in all the time to check in!"

Fort Orange General Store is stocking "modern home goods and accessories: stationary, accessories, kitchen items, natural beauty and apothecary items for men and women, and all sorts of curiosities." The focus is on curating products with good quality and design.

"These products are made by an artist in their studio. For almost every item we carry we can tell you exactly where it came from and the story behind it" said Smith. In addition to other artist's goods, Fort Orange General Store will also be carrying some of the cards and notebooks that Corrigan makes and the fabric goods -- such as coasters and napkins -- that Smith makes. Over time they're planning to expand the "house made" Fort Orange offerings.

On a recent visit the prices seemed reasonable for a boutique shop, but it's very different from shopping at a big box store like Target. When asked how they'll compete, Corrigan responded, "People will come to Fort Orange because we aren't a big box store! We offer items are that are a little different and special. It's a great place to buy a thoughtful gift. If you care about where your products are coming from, and about investing in local business, this is a great place for you."

In our disposable culture, I also appreciated the sentiment of purchasing goods that will stand the test of time. "Of course there's a cheaper version [of these items]. But will it last? Will your daughter try to steal the jewelry pieces when she goes away to college?" said Smith.

While the grand opening is this Friday, May 9, Fort Orange General Store has been open to test the waters over the past week. "A lot of people that have come in are responding positively that we're here. There's a sense of relief, because Albany needs a place like this," Corrigan said.

Corrigan and Smith are also supportive of other local, urban businesses. "The more, the merrier!," said Corrigan. "This is a great time for small business. Real estate is available and affordable. And I think people are realizing how important it is to have local business and support the community we live and work in. Albany is a special place in that it really is possible to do these things."

Smith added: "If you have a good idea, now's a good time to do it."

Lauren writes about shopping, crafting, and living well on a small budget at The Thrifty Ginger.

Find It

Fort Orange General Store
296 Delaware Avenue
Albany, NY 12209

Comments

The store looks great! Best of luck to you both. Lord knows the entire area could use more smart, stylish shops like this one.

Beautiful store! OMG, I want to move in there!!

I just stopped in there yesterday and it was very pleasant. It reminded me of the sort of things you'd find on Etsy.

I hope they stick around, maybe get a bit more inventory.

I went to buy Camille Carnevale's jewelry and found lots of other interesting things to buy! I especially like to see all if the local and hand made items. Great addition to the neighborhood!

This place looks and smells great! Fantastic selection of goods; how nice to see so much that is local and handcrafted.

When you are ready to expand, please reconsider an urban grocery store on Lark. I've been desperate for one since I moved to Alb. 3 years ago.

Unless it closed already, there is a small grocery store that opened on Lark already. The owner is very nice every time I went in there.

Say Something!

We'd really like you to take part in the conversation here at All Over Albany. But we do have a few rules here. Don't worry, they're easy. The first: be kind. The second: treat everyone else with the same respect you'd like to see in return. Cool? Great, post away. Comments are moderated so it might take a little while for your comment to show up. Thanks for being patient.

What's All Over Albany?

All Over Albany is for interested and interesting people in New York's Capital Region. In other words, it's for you. It's kind of like having a smart, savvy friend who can help you find out what's up. Oh, and our friends call us AOA.

Search

Recently on All Over Albany

Stuff to do this weekend

It's Memorial Day weekend. The official unofficial kickoff to the summer season. There are plenty of picnics, barbecues, and just general hanging out to do,... (more)

Working out the design of the Albany Skyway

The Albany Skyway project is continuing to move forward, and this week the engineering team heading up the design work presented a few potential concepts... (more)

First house on the street

History + houses + maps = this chronicle of house building in Niskayuna by Guy Spiers. It's remarkable to see how house were clustered in... (more)

Collar City Candle Craft + Draft BBQ at Lansing Farm

This is something a little different and summery: Collar City Candle is hosting a Craft + Draft BBQ event at Lansing Farm in Colonie Sunday,... (more)

There's another rail trail public art project this summer, and the call for artists is open

We mentioned this in the rail trail post this week, but it's worth highlighting: The call for artists is currently open for the next public... (more)

Recent Comments

I frequently find myself along this trail on Sunday mornings, hungry, & very little is open. There's a lot of talk about special mowers & building bathrooms & that's nice, yes, let's do that, certainly. But *right now* people using this trail are hungry & want to buy food & drink (& use the bathroom, as a paying customer): if the businesses that are already there were OPEN it would go a long way to providing amenities & destinations. ...

Working out the design of the Albany Skyway

...has 1 comment, most recently from ace

Civil War walking tour of Albany Rural Cemetery

...has 4 comments, most recently from Amy

The Helderberg-Hudson Rail Trail is set to get a new paved section this summer, and a few more bits about its future

...has 9 comments, most recently from Colleen

What qualifies as the Capital Region?

...has 1 comment, most recently from jsc

Historic brewing district tours of Albany

...has 5 comments, most recently from Craig