Tonawanda News — “Initially I was thinking it was time for me to retire,” he said. “But I planned on staying in Buffalo, it’s not like I was moving to Florida. I thought that since I’m going to stay local I might as well keep the stores in the community I love and where I was born and raised here in North Tonawanda.”
The supermarket first opened in 1922 on Oliver Street and was passed down through the family until Frank Budwey took it over from his parents in 1971, after returning from the Vietnam War. He sold the business in 1995 to Jubilee Foods before buying it back in 2000.
He opened two more locations in Kenmore and Newfane while maintaining the store’s Division Street locale, and was a vocal critic of the city’s plan to allow Walmart to open in 2012 on nearby Erie Avenue.
Budwey said in a statement released on Thursday that he was thrilled with his decision to continue his ownership tenure.
“As many customers have wished me well since the announcement of selling Budwey’s, I have been deeply troubled to see the loss of a neighborhood store that the community has come to rely upon over many, many decades,” the press release read. “The recent sale of Budwey’s Kenmore Avenue store will allow me the opportunity to devote and dedicate time and efforts to North Tonawanda where it all began with the tremendous support of our local community.”