Tonawanda News — Budwey’s Supermarket announced in October that it would shutter its three locations and sell them to an outside company by the end of 2013, to the chagrin of many who had lifelong ties to the store’s history and enjoyed the benefit of a locally-owned establishment.
But in a reversal on Thursday, Frank Budwey, whose family began the local icon 92 years ago, said after selling its Kenmore Avenue location late last year to Dash’s Market, two other stores in North Tonawanda and Newfane will now remain under his control.
Budwey, 64, said he changed his mind about the sale due to his family’s longtime connection to the business and denied that a lack of interest from Olean Wholesale Grocery Cooperative, a Western New York company, was a reason for the change of heart earlier this week.
“Olean Wholesale was talking to me about it,” he said. “I decided I didn’t want to do that. It was my choice. I had a good offer on the table and I turned it down. We’re back and we’re not leaving.”
Budwey, who represents the third generation to have ties to the supermarket, told the Tonawanda News several weeks ago that a deal to sell the two locations was still on the table and would be wrapped up in the coming weeks after the completion of legal issues with Olean Wholesale.
In October, Budwey said all three stores would close in 30 to 60 days, while he planned to stay involved with the business in an advisory role.
Calls for comment to Olean Wholesale, the company with which a sale was being negotiated, were not returned on Thursday. But whatever the true motivation for Budwey retaining ownership of the two stores, he said he now plans on holding on to them for the remainder of his life.