By Christine Graf
Husband and wife Brandan and Kristen Greczkowski have expanded Purdy’s Discount Wine and Liquor, a third-generation family-owned business in Congress Plaza in Saratoga Springs.
Purdy’s is one of the Capital Region’s largest wine and liquor stores.
During its 60 years of operations, Purdy’s has been located at three different addresses in Saratoga Springs. The store has been in Congress Plaza for more than 20 years. During that time, it has expanded multiple times. The most recent occurred after Citizens Bank closed its 3,000-square-foot branch that was located next door to Purdy’s. All that space is now part of the liquor store.
The business was started in 1960 by Kristen’s grandfather, George Purdy. Her mother, Gail Purdy Brophy, took over store operations in 1963. Brophy was just 21 years old at the time and remained at the helm of Purdy’s until 2020 when she died at the age of 77.
“When my mom got sick, we moved back here and planned to take over the business,” said Kristen Greczkowski, a hair stylist who has worked on and off for Purdy’s for most of her adult life. She handles the financial aspects of the business and Brandan oversees buying, selling, and merchandising.
It was Brophy’s idea to expand and take over the space.
“When my mom was sick, the bank was moving and she wanted to expand,” said Greczkowski.
Purdy’s now occupies 15,000 square feet, Some of the additional space is devoted to product storage. Increased storage capacity is necessary for the store to move forward with plans to offer online sales, shipping, and delivery.
Because of the expansion, Purdy’s has also been able to broaden its wine and liquor offerings.
“The store is three quarters wine and one quarter liquor,” said Brandan, who worked as a Home Depot manager for 17 years before joining Purdy’s. “We have 60 more bays (shelving units) for products and merchandise in the store. It’s huge. We went from a four-bay set for bourbon to a nine-bay set. We will have the biggest bourbon and tequila section in the Capital Region.”
Product tastings take place every Friday and Saturday. They resumed after being halted temporarily due to COVID-19. Tastings vary and feature both wine and liquor.
“Every week it’s something different,” said Brandan.
Purdy’s has 30 employees, and unlike many local businesses, maintaining staffing during the pandemic hasn’t been a problem, he said.
“It’s different working for a family owned business. People don’t realize that you are treated better, and it’s more of a family atmosphere,” he said.
Although the new space opened several weeks ago, it’s still a work in progress. The expansion took longer than expected due to COVID-related permitting delays and engineering issues.
“Next year, we have another tear down in the middle of the store that we have to get to,” said Brandan. “We’ve really just started. We’ve taken over in the past year without Gail being here, and things are just rolling in the right direction. We did amazing during COVID, but our customer count is even further up over last year’s numbers. Every day, we are getting new customers.”
For more information, visit purdyswine.com.