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Hilltown Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, September 30, 2010

Fox Creek Market off to popular start

By Zach Simeone

BERNE — The Fox Creek Market has been open for about a week now, “and we’re going to take it up, up, up,” the new owner said.

The P & L Deli II on Helderberg Trail, after being in business for four years, went on the market at the beginning of this year; Joe and Caroline McMahon closed on the building last Tuesday, and decided to change the name. Before it was called the P & L Deli II, the clapboard building perched above the Fox Creek on Helderberg Trail was called the Berne Store.

“Fox Creek has a lot of history to it, and it runs parallel to my property, and we just wanted a nice, easy-to-remember country name,” said Joe McMahon this week. “We were sitting in the parking lot thinking of names, we looked over and saw the sign and thought, ‘Why don’t we just call it Fox Creek Market?’”

Former owner Jessica Tronco said that, in her years of owning the store since it opened, she was often running it without the help she needed, which led to her eventually selling the building. Her parents opened the original P & L Deli in Westerlo.

“Thirteen hours a day really kicks your butt after a while,” Tronco said. “It definitely needs to be a family business, and I told them when they opened it. But they’re great people, and I really wish them all the luck in the world.”

The new store opened on Wednesday, and “it’s becoming very popular,” said McMahon.

Before owning the store, the McMahons came to the area to spend time at their camp on Lake Onderdonk.

“We like the people here, and we saw an opportunity with this store,” said McMahon. “The opportunity we saw is, you get to be part of a small, tight-knit community where you get to know everyone.”

With their new store, the McMahons look to offer a wide range of culinary options, some offered by the previous owners, and some not.

“We’ve got 10 different salads out,” McMahon began, “a dozen different meats and cheese; we serve a full menu of breakfast, lunch, and dinner all day.”

He went on to describe the deli’s system for sandwich making.

“We went to a bigger sub roll, and everything is weighed out,” said McMahon. “So, if you get a large sub, we weigh it out so you get the same thing every time. We’re looking for consistency here.”

And, when the store gets its new convection oven, there will be fresh baked muffins and cookies.

One thing that the McMahons are touting is the daily availability of pizza, made in house.

“In just the first three days alone, we probably went through 65 or 70 pizzas, just for slices — that’s not counting people that came back at night and ordered,” he said. “They can’t believe how good it is, or the fact that they can get it all the time…They used to only do pizza here on Friday and Saturday. We make our dough every day; our sauce every day; we use quality cheese; and we’ve got years of pizza-making experience.”

McMahon worked at different pizza places during high school and college, and his family used to own The Delmar Pizzeria, which is now Andriano’s. His brother, Dave, owned half-a-dozen pizza places himself, McMahon said. His brother now works with him at the Fox Creek Market.

“So, 90 percent of the time, when those doors open, there’s going to be someone in the building with the last name McMahon,” the owner said. “But there were some great employees that worked here over the years that we’ve also kept on.”

He went on to say that they plan on adding a convenience section to the store.

“We’re going out of our way to meet people, and to see what they want here,” McMahon concluded. “We want people to have fresh quality food, and we don’t want people to have to go off the Hill to get it.”

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