BY Molly Congdon
CLIFTON PARK— At 9:20 a.m. Jan. 8, Clifton Park Center was a ghost town. All was quiet. Metal gates still guarded the entrances of all the stores, including American Eagle, Kay Jewelers and Footlocker; all that is, except for Boscov’s, which was buzzing with activity.
Clifton Park Town Supervisor Phil Barrett, other town officials and Boscov’s employees joined together to celebrate not only the 100-year lifespan of the family-owned department store chain, but also the 15 years of success that this particular retail location has had. So naturally, there was a cake.
The marble dessert was draped in white frosting with dark, navy blue fluffy trim around the outside edges and lettering on the flat face that read: “Happy 100th Birthday Boscov’s!”
The birthday cake missed the actual birthday by a few weeks but the celebration remains strong. The chain, founded by Solomon Boscov in 1914, started off as a shoe store and dry goods annex in Reading, Pa. Over time, Boscov’s has expanded and today it operates more than 40 stores in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Delaware, Maryland and Ohio. In 1968, Solomon’s son, Albert, took over the business.
“I was first elected in 1999 and one of the first things we did was to start retail revitalization,” Barrett said. “There was a lot of empty space in this mall. We started a townwide campaign to grab Mr. Boscov’s attention so he would know the possibility and opportunity in Clifton Park. Thankfully, he recognized that.” In early 2000, the project was approved for a new Boscov’s in Clifton Park.
“Boscov’s helped in the revitalization of Exit 9 and that’s why Boscov’s has been so important to the town of Clifton Park and will continue to be for many years,” Barrett said. “The incredible amount of redevelopment that has occurred within this area over the past 15 years is amazing. Boscov’s remains a vital corporate partner in the success here.”
Boscov’s employees and Jay Janowsky, who has been the store’s manager since it opened, gathered around the cake smiling and laughing. It seems as though the family aspect of Boscov’s runs deep, even bringing the staff together as a unit that genuinely enjoys each other’s company. “I love working here,” Janowsky said. “It’s a new experience every day.”
Soon crumbs littered the table, the remnants of the sheet cake. Despite how much had been sliced, served and swallowed, one section — the iconic cursive Boscov’s “B,” surrounded by a circle of blue — remained untouched and unwavering, sort of like the business that it stands for.
BY Molly Congdon