Altamont’s Hungerford Market closes  

Enterprise file photo — Melissa Hale-Spencer

Jean Conklin was a Hungerford Market customer before she bought the business 16 years ago.

ALTAMONT — Jean Conklin remembers her first day alone at the helm of Hungerford Market. 
“I was like, “Oh my gosh, how can I do this? I don’t know the people. Sue [McGaughnea] has such a great relationship with all the customers. Will I ever get to be that person?’... Over 16 years, there’s a lot of memories,” Conklin said. 

Conklin closed Hungerford, a bagel and sandwich shop, at the end of 2o22. 

Like a lot of other small businesses, staffing is a problem, she said, adding there’s only so much she can raise her prices. And there have been some life changes. Conklin no longer lives locally; she’s now a Saratoga County resident. She’s also engaged. 

“So it’s time to start a new chapter in my life,” Conklin said. “So I thought: End of the year, end of Hungerford Market’s chapter as well.”

Conklin used to be a Hungerford customer, she would stop everyday on her way to her job in medical billing and bookkeeping. “I would stop every day and get the same thing, a blueberry scone and southern pecan coffee,” she said, so when Conklin left her job and needed to find a new one and Hungerford was for sale, the former convenience store owner decided that would be her next venture.

It was the coziness of the village, Conklin said when asked what drew her to buying the business. 

“The people at Hungerford Market were very friendly. I learned a little bit about the history from when Bud and Marsha Perlee opened it,” she said. “It was just a cute, quaint little coffee shop that I thought I would want to be part of.”

Asked what she’ll miss most about Hungerford Market, Conklin said her customers. “I think the everyday connection; being part of the village.”

As for what’s next, Conklin is currently working part-time as a bookkeeper at the fairgrounds, and Hungerford Market is for sale, she said.

“I have a couple people that are still out there that have expressed interest,” she said, “so I’m kind of waiting for their decision to whether or not someone will take Hungerford Market over or it will just be closed.”

Twice in the past, Conklin sought to either sell or close the business, six months ago and in 2017; both times she reversed her decision. 


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