Budwey's, a locally-owned supermarket and longtime fixture in North Tonawanda, is being sold to another local grocer that is being praised for sharing similar business philosophies at his West Seneca store.
Frank Budwey admitted it was "bittersweet" to announce the sale of the supermarket his family operated for more than 90 years. Monday morning, he revealed that Brian Kusmierski is buying Budwey's.
Kusmierski has operated The Market in the Square, located in Southgate Plaza on Union Road, for the past 18 years. He told reporters that no significant changes are planned in the short term. Kusmierski also sees a position of the "best of both worlds."
"Our plan is to see how things run here and then we're going to take the best of Budwey's over to The Market in the Square in West Seneca and vice versa," he said. "The best of West Seneca will come over to Budwey's and, I think, give us three to six months to mesh together and I think both stores are going to be better for it."
Budwey said both owners share many similar business philosophies. He said the markets' meat departments and scratch bakeries are similar and both stock their produce departments with purchases from local farmers and vendors.
He revealed that he had received offers over the past couple years but wanted to make sure the store remained locally owned. In Budwey's words, had he sold to a conglomerate, the market would become "cold," corporate and could even cost some employees their jobs.
"They have the same feel, the same touch," Budwey said about Kusmierski's business. "That makes me feel comfortable that this store will survive for many years to come."
It was stated during the Monday morning announcement that Kusmierski's children intend to one day step in and take over the family business when their father decides to retire.
The North Tonawanda store will eventually be renamed Budwey's Market in the Square. Frank Budwey will continue to own the plaza on which the market sits.