Olivett Market sells to Olean Wholesale

Family-owned for 77 years, a fixture in Emporium



An era is ending. Olivett Market, the Emporium grocery store founded by the late Joe Olivett in July of 1939 with a $500 loan from his mother, Theresa, will close its doors at the end of business on July 4th and reopen on July 5 under new ownership as ShurFine Food Mart.


After 77 years, the Olivett family—Joe’s sons Tim and Rick and their families—have decided to sell the store that began as a tiny neighborhood grocery on Third Street with living quarters above. Over the years, first Joe and then “the boys” increased the market’s size and impact on the community. After expanding as much as the original building could manage, they first rebuilt directly behind the old store, then knocked down the old store to make room for the parking lot. Further expansion gave them what they have now at 441 East Third Street: a modern, 20,300-square-foot full-service grocery store that some people still refer to as “Joe’s.”


The store is scheduled to transfer to Olean Wholesale the morning of July 5.


“We have a long relationship with Olean Wholesale,” says Tim Olivett, president and vice president, who has spent most of his time overseeing the market’s produce department. “It’s a member-owned co-operative warehouse. We’ve been shareholders since our dad joined when he opened the store.” 


“Because of our history with the buyers,” says Rick Olivett, secretary, treasurer and administrative head, “Tim and I feel confident that this is a good move for our families, for our employees and for the community.”


Store personnel were introduced to two owner representatives, Dave Winicki and Steve Senske,

and given details of the purchase on Thursday, May 26, during informal small-group meetings with all employees. 


“Our last day of business is July 4th,” says Rick. “Olean Wholesale has assured us that all Olivett Market employees will have the opportunity to demonstrate their value to the new company.”


He added: “It’s been an amazing three-quarters of a century for Olivett’s. Tim and our families are grateful that generations of friends and neighbors have made us the grocery store in Emporium. We look forward to seeing you around town and in the aisles of the new store for many years to come.” 


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