By Spencer Bucolo

If you’re a regular of the Paul Smith’s college area, or regularly pass through Gabriels, NY, then you’re probably familiar with Brighton Market — formerly known as the Brighton Mini Mart.

As a student of Paul Smith’s college that’s lived in the area for the better part of three years, I can say that Brighton Market has often been a great alternative to driving all the way into Saranac Lake to pick up a case of beer. And like me, plenty of people have voiced their approval and appreciation of the wide array of sandwiches offered by their deli, not to mention, all of their fried foods, various caffeinated/ alcoholic beverages, and for commuters and locals needing that extra boost of energy or sustenance, a place not too far away to meet impromptu needs.

Unfortunately, local patrons of Brighton Market have observed (among other things), an increasing inconsistency in the store’s hours of operation. And according to one of the Market’s regular patrons, more of their customers are noticing these inconsistencies as well.

Recently driving past the convenience store, the patron noted the sight of four pickup trucks parked outside of the still closed Brighton Market at 8:15 AM, with one of the prospective shoppers (wearing overalls) throwing their arms up in frustration at the locked door and unlit shop beyond the glass.

Speaking with local Saranac Lake resident and Paul Smith’s college student Tim Sweeney, he describes a similarly distasteful experience during his morning commute to class:

“I understand that you’re under new ownership, but you had time to plan— figure out what hours are important for your customers. What products are most popular? And unfortunately, when it comes to business owning, there are no excuses — are you open or not open? Do you have it or not? I skipped Mobil and Stewarts to get YOUR breakfast the other day, but YOU weren’t open at 9:00 AM. I won’t take that chance again. And I think sooner rather than later, a lot of their customers are going to do the same.”

Another case of the Brighton Market’s wonky consistency is that the shop’s popular deli has been increasingly less available, due to various excuses that range from the installation of a toilet, to the deficiency of employees they’re able to hire and retain.

The recent change in Brighton Market’s ownership showcased a fairly strong start when they officially reopened the store after changing hands. However, it seems that that strong start was a poor indication of how the store would hold-up its operating tempo, employee retention, and positive feedback from locals.

It is unfortunate that this modern-day wilderness outpost is suffering due to shortcomings that are most likely fixable. But in the meantime, I suppose Saranac Lake will have to fill the needs Brighton Market cannot consistently offer the immediate community.