Hygrade Market in Croton Falls turns one


Hygrade Market in Croton Falls recently celebrated its one-year anniversary. (Benjamin Allen / HudValley Photo)

It’s been one year since the doors opened at Hygrade Market in Croton Falls. The market, which was fully restored after Gordon’s Deli closed during the pandemic, opened with a nod to history, named after the former market of the same name that occupied the space at 10 Front Street for over 20 years, and with the feel of small town eateries and general stores of the past.

“People love the way it looks like going back in time,” said Tom Christopher, who co-owns the restaurant with his wife Dawn. “They feel calmer and better walking into gold French theater posters, 1930s gas pumps and just a beautiful environment.”

Photo by Benjamin Allen, HudValley Photo

Prior to opening Hygrade, the Christophers spent a significant amount of time on building restorations. The couple removed the drop ceiling and several layers of flooring to reveal century-old plaster walls and a six-inch poured concrete floor. "For us it was fun being able to save the building," Christopher said.

A photo of the original High Grade Market in Croton Falls. Image courtesy of Tom Christopher

Today's Hygrade Market is more than one thing. Primarily it’s a food hall, with a variety of menu options courtesy of Milton’s at Hygrade Market, a breakfast-lunch-dinner cafe that serves homemade food from chef Milton Ramirez, a long-time Croton Falls resident. Hygrade is also a craft beer and artifacts store, designed for customers who prefer independently owned stores over big box retailers. Christopher said that the concept was loosely inspired by Chelsea Market and other places that combine several businesses in one central location.

Shoppers browse the selections inside the shop. (Benjamin Allen / HudValley Photo)

Milton’s has aimed to establish a regular customer base of New York City commuters and locals alike. A sign outside the shop on weekday mornings advertises a bacon-egg-cheese sandwich and coffee special for $7. Milton’s burgers and tacos are popular choices for lunch. Christopher said his favorite is the carnitas tacos. “Sauteeed for seven hours then crisped slightly. Wow,” he said. Milton’s is also aiming to develop a dinner crowd, with menu items including mussels, clams and ribeye steak.

A customer orders at the counter at Milton's. (Benjamin Allen / HudValley Photo)

Outside of the food offerings, Hygrade courts shoppers through its specialty craft beer shop and artisan market, which features a curated selection of locally-made items, including pottery, jewelry, scarves, candles, soap and more, all sourced by Dawn. On the beer side, Tom said he hopes to begin partnering with John Bart, a craft beer enthusiast and educator known locally as The Katonah Beer Man.

Hygrade Market owners Dawn and Tom Christopher. (Benjamin Allen / HudValley Photo)

“This is all part of the rebuilding of Croton Falls, a small, U.S. railroad town with a great history,” Tom said. “We hope to be a good place for a meeting or to have a great coffee or lunch with a beer while writing at 100-year-old industrial work tables. It’s all very gratifying, to see the dining room with all the industrial tables, people going to and from the city coming in, laughing and talking. It all feels pretty good.”

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