ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Albany’s new South End Grocery store has been up and running for a little over two weeks. Many have hoped it would be the antidote to an area long considered a food desert.

S.E.G. shelves are stocked with snacks, pantry staples, and toiletries.

Residents of the South End have reported traveling several miles to access supermarkets and affordable groceries. Now, they’re within walking distance of a market that offers them a discount for living in the neighborhood.

“We also offer discounts for veterans, people of color, indigenous people, and families whose land was taken to construct the Capitol Plaza that we stand in the shadow of,” said lead sponsor of the project, Travon Jackson.

S.E.G. sources fruits and veggies from produce partners like Forts Ferry Farm.

Philanthropic support and strategic use of the building underpin the not for profit-run store, according to Jackson. He said he has seen the payoff in the faces of customers coming through the store on South Pearl.

“People will come across the street to buy one onion, and say, ‘wow, now I don’t have to take an entire trip just to buy a single onion.’ And the bus trip will cost you more than the onion,” Jackson said, “so that’s another example of how we’re able to save people money while still making money ourselves.”

One of the prepared foods menus at S.E.G.

Customers like James Graham who grew up in Albany’s South End find the market with healthy options and local produce refreshing. He remembers a time long ago when it wasn’t so hard to find.

“When I grew up, it was a lot busier, a lot more stores, drug stores, gas stations, and it’s just like they abandoned the area,” Graham said, “but I’m glad to see this.”

The building has made such a transformation that a different shopper who doesn’t come to the area often, had no idea it used to be a McDonald’s.

 In about a month or so, South End Grocery hopes to start accepting SNAP and EBT.

You can read more about the South End Grocery on social media.


  • South End residents in the 12202 zip code: 25% off
  • Downtown residents in the 12207 zip code: 20% off
  • City of Albany residents outside of 12202 and 12207 zip codes: 10% off
  • Persons of color from the global African diaspora: 10% off
  • Indigenous people: 10% off
  • Veterans: 10% off
  • Families whose property was taken to build Albany’s Capital Plaza: 5% off
  • School district employees, college and trade students, EMS and firefighters: 5% off