NORTH TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WIVB) - A popular grocery store owner, who has been doing business for years in western New York, is checking out. After 86 years in business, Frank Budwey says he is selling all three famous grocery stores in Kenmore, North Tonawanda and Newfane, but he says none of them are closing.
Frank hugged loyal customers Tuesday, and told them he is still going to be around the stores, working as a consultant in the North Tonawanda store that is famous for fried chicken, meats, wings, pizza and other items.
The first store opened in 1922, by Frank’s grandmother. Frank took over in 1971. His passion is serving the community and keeping employees happy, that say “that’s the Budwey way.”
Budwey said, “It’s kind of bittersweet. It’s been 86 years in the community has supported all these years and been behind us, it’s kind of sad to leave but this is my succession plan, I have a couple grandchildren I’d like to spend a little more time with.”
Budwey added, “I just want to thank the loyal customers from eight neighborhoods that have supported us over the 86 years and you will be missed very, very much.”
Olean Wholesale bought the stores and will be taking over in the next 30 to 60 days. Frank says the 430 employees should keep their jobs, just not benefits. Frank says he will remain the landlord, he doesn’t want any empty buildings.
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