By Maureen Werther
When local attorney Tom West and his wife, Renee, began looking for investment properties in the city, their first thought was to buy a two-family house.
But, when their son, Andrew, came to them with an idea for bringing 9 Miles East Farm products and menu offerings into the city proper, their focus turned to a local market that has been a mainstay on Saratoga’s east side since the 1870s.
The small parcel of land on the corner of Lake Avenue and Warren Street has been home to one kind of market or another since 1873, when Pepper’s Market and Deli first opened for business. In 2012, the market became home to Moby Rick’s Seafood, a destination for fresh fish and accompanying delicacies straight from the wharfs of Boston and Long Island.
Rick Lofstad Jr., owner of Moby Rick’s, had been looking for ways to reinvigorate his market. Meanwhile, 9 Miles East Farm Pizza owners, Gordon and Mary Sacks, had also been toying with new strategies for expanding their farm-to-table enterprise in Schuylerville.
When owner Robert Pringle, decided to sell the Lake Avenue property, it set up a “perfect storm” for the Wests, Lofstad and Sacks to transform the property into a combined farm-to-market and net-to-market destination.
“We signed on the property the first day we saw it,” said West, whose law firm, The West Firm PLLC on Broadway, focuses on environmental law, litigation and transactional issues.
“This was a spur-of-the-moment enterprise,” he said.