Pawlak family closing grocery store after 49 years in Albion

Photo by Tom Rivers: Jerome Pawlak and his son Joe are pictured in April outside Pawlak’s Food Center, after the family switched the store from a Save-A-Lot to an independent grocery store.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 12 October 2017 at 8:34 pm

ALBION – The Pawlak family has announced it is closing its grocery store in Albion after nearly a half century in Albion.

“We would like to thank the Albion and Orleans County communities, and especially our Associates, for your support, friendship, and the memories you have given us,” The Pawlak family said in an email.

The Pawlaks in April switched from running a Save-A-Lot store to an independent grocery store, Pawlak’s Food Center.

Jerome Pawlak and his son Joe have been running the store together.

The Pawlaks have been unable to sign a new lease with their landlord at the plaza on Route 31, the family said.

“Competitive realities, a slow economy, and cost deflation in the food industry has forced us to make the decision to close Pawlak’s Food Center after 49 years of serving the Albion community,” The Pawlaks said. “We have been unable to compete with these trends and continue to rent our current space. We recognize closing is the necessary course of action to take. The closing also includes The Video Station and Save-On Beverage Center.”

A liquidation sale of the store’s remaining inventory will begin this Saturday at 8 a.m.

The family for 15 years operated a Save-A-Lot in Albion at 320 West Ave.

In April they became Pawlak’s Food Center. The store has been affiliated with the Olean Wholesale Grocery Cooperative, which serves independently owned groceries in New York, Pennsylvania and northeast Ohio.

The family has been in the grocery business for 57 years, starting in Lyndonville. The Pawlaks also ran a Save-A-Lot in Holley for about 3 ½ years before closing in September 2016.

The Pawlak family ran the Albion store as a Shurfine from 1997 to 2002, before Jerome Pawlak changed to a Save-A-Lot to better compete against Tops, which opened a new store next door.

Since then, Walmart opened a Supercenter in Albion (in 2006) with groceries as well as general merchandise. Walmart also has supercenters in Lockport, Batavia and Brockport. An Aldi Foods also has recently opened in Medina.

It’s a very competitive business with many of the dollar stores, gas stations and Rite Aid also selling groceries.

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