Greene County Success Stories

Young’s – Catskill, NY – Prattsville, NY

Young’s Prattsville Agway has been a mainstay of retail business in Prattsville for over 50 years. The Agway has been like many other rural stores of its type, stocking hardware, feed and other rural essentials.

In 2008, though, the business model of the family-run business began to change as a new generation began to implement new ideas for the company.

Young’s worked with Greene County to obtain a Microenterprise Program loan in order to refurbish a former storage area in the second floor of their building to use as a more upscale hunting and fishing emporium. The creation of the new retail space helped Young’s to expand their Prattsville business and attract more weekenders and upscale customers.

The second change occurred in 2011, when Young’s decided to add a second store in the Village of Catskill. Taking advantage of a void left when Aubuchon Hardware abandoned markets in the Hudson Valley and Eastern New York, Young’s leased the former Aubuchon building and renovated it for their operations. Despite being in the shadow of a Super Walmart and Lowe’s, Young’s has prospered in the new location, with a focus on customer service and pet supplies that are not offered by the franchise stores.

Hurricane Irene devastated the Prattsville store, and the second-floor emporium became a shelter point for the family until the entire main building came off its foundation in the storm. The building eventually moved six feet due to the flooding caused by the hurricane, and the Young’s were featured in a Weather Channel documentary on Hurricane Irene and its impacts.

After surveying the damage, the Young’s decided to double down and build a bigger and better store in the same location in Prattsville. Retail space was added, and eventually new greenhouses were also constructed to expand the offerings of the store. A combination of private equity, New York Main Street and state disaster funding was used in order to bring Young’s back “bigger and better than ever,” to quote Governor Cuomo from his visit to Prattsville after the flood.

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Topics: Success Stories