WEBSTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The owners of a historic food market in Webster are speaking out about why they’ve decided to close their doors for good after 70 years of service.
The Hegedorn’s family started their own business as a dairy store back in 1936 when that property used to be their family farm. Since then, it’s grown into a 45,000-square-foot facility where customers from multiple generations benefit from their services.
When Hegedorn’s General Manager Jon Gonzalez looks back on all the growth and success that started with a vision his grandfather had when transitioning to a full food market back in 1953, he couldn’t be prouder of his family and staff.
“We’re most proud of the relationships that we’ve developed I would say with our own employees, the community, the people,” Gonzalez said. “Just the different bonds that are formed over the years. I think a lot of people have found a home here. Even though it’s a grocery store but is still more than that.”
Despite their deep roots in the community, Gonzalez explained the industry has grown too competitive for them to keep up, leading to this decision.
“We have two Wegmans within three miles of us, we have an Aldi’s, Target, and Walmart,” Gonzalez continued. “Years ago, we didn’t have that to compete with. Even though we offered certain things that we feel were better than the competition, it wasn’t enough financially.”
When coming in today, long-time customers expressed how grateful they are for the service Hegedorn’s provides.
“I wanted to cry I was like this is terrible because there are so many special things they have here,” Cindy Reed of Sodus stated. “Like they sell cold cuts in the deli and make great sandwiches there. Their meat is always fresh.”
“It was kind of a shock, but the way things are going these days a lot of smaller stores and companies are closing up,” Gary Glosser added. “Which is unfortunate, but it had a good run.”
Despite the grocery store facility closing, all the other businesses and restaurants hooked up to the building and in the plaza will remain open. The family is unsure what to do with the store when it’s empty.
“It shouldn’t affect Bill Gray’s at all but we’re working on a redevelopment plan as we speak right now,” Gonzalez told us. “So, we’ll see where that goes in the next upcoming months. There’s a lot of ideas discussed internally, but we don’t have an exact plan at this time.”
According to their website, Hegedorn’s employs almost 200 people. The timeline for when Hagedorn’s expects to officially close is the end of June.