Four generations and counting
By Brittany Cosman
Not many people can truthfully say that they absolutely love their jobs. Especially when that job consists of working seven days a week and beginning your day when most people are still sleeping.
But George III (known as “Bud”) and Cathy Vogt, owners of George’s Market in Latham, have a lot to be excited about these days. After four years of planning, they have relocated their long-time Latham family business from Rt. 7 to a high-traffic area across from Target on Wade Road Extension and are set to open the middle of this month.
The opportunity was too good for the couple to refuse when they were approached by the New York State Police and asked to sell their land so that they could build barracks on it.
At their previous spot, they were known for their locally grown corn, tomatoes, mums and more. In their new location, which boasts eight greenhouses and a 12,000-square foot retail shop with attached greenhouse, they will be offering the same locally grown products, plus much more: fertilizers, grass seed and turf, birding products, tropicals, garden tools, potting soils, stones and statuaries, patio furniture and clean-burning soy candles. They will also carry a line of their own private-label locally made jams and jellies and offer unique gifts such as greeting cards that can be planted and will bloom into wildflowers. And, they still sell mulch, topsoil, trees, shrubbery, sod, firewood and offer custom landscaping.
For many Capital Region residents, George’s is a familiar name, having been in business for over 100 years. It was started as a local farm by Casper Vogt and his wife Barbara in 1893. Their son, George Sr., turned it into a roadside market in 1930. Later, the first greenhouses were added when his son, George Jr. took over in 1954. The business was then expanded 10 years ago when Bud and Cathy, took over. Today, George’s Market is a fully-stocked garden center.
“I don’t know how to describe it; we keep building it [the business] up because we love what we do,” said Cathy. Not to mention they are grooming their children 17-year-old son George Jr. and their 14-year-old daughter, Lauren, to take over the business once they graduate from college, which will make them the fifth generation.
They consider competition healthy and believe their service and quality is what sets them apart from others, as well as their commitment to selling locally grown products. Bud still farms land that they rent in Colonie and along the Northway and they are active in farmer’s markets, selling at The Crossings, Empire State Plaza and CDPHP.
“We’ve been around for years and years and have gotten to know our regular customers,” Cathy said.
Family is also important to them, and they consider their staff an extended part of it, many of whom have been with them for over a dozen years. Often, they are invited to the couple’s home for Thanksgiving dinner.
“Our philosophy is, ‘We’re successful because of the people who work for us,'” said Cathy, adding, “We have some awesome people.”
Like so many others businesses, George’s Market is also going green – not only by selling some green products, but in the construction of their store. “We have low-level lighting and radiant heating,” said Cathy, adding, “We want to practice what we preach.”
While they are not organic, they do try to use the minimal amount of sprays and follow Cornell Cooperative Extension’s guidelines for spraying their corn.
For more information about George’s Market visit www.georges-market.com or call 785.4210.